With the nation­al media neg­a­tive­ly com­ment­ing on the hous­ing mar­ket week­ly, many would be cor­rect in think­ing hous­es aren’t sell­ing and if they are, for rock bot­tom prices.

First quar­ter results do show a slow­er mar­ket. Jack­son Bar­rett & Gass have report­ed an aver­age 17.1% few­er Con­veyanc­ing files opened when com­pared with the com­bined 2006 and 2007 first quarters.

Sean Bar­row, a local solic­i­tor for 30 years says On first reflec­tion, the results look poor. With the intro­duc­tion of Home Infor­ma­tion Packs, cou­pled with bad press and poor­er finan­cial con­di­tions, some peo­ple are being put off, or unable to enter the hous­ing market.”

Despite this slow­down, Jack­son Bar­rett & Gass have opened 7.21% more files in the 2008 first quar­ter, when com­pared to 2005. The month­ly fig­ure for files opened in 2008 is also a lot more steady than pre­vi­ous years, with an aver­age vari­ance of 11.3%

Sean com­ments When you actu­al­ly look over the last 5 years, the mar­ket was always bound to even out. 2007 was a par­tic­u­lar­ly unpre­dictable year with files opened, some­times dou­bling between months. Despite the mar­ket hav­ing slow down, it has become more steady in case­load volume.

The good news for peo­ple involved in the local mar­ket, par­tic­u­lar­ly con­sumers, is that we’ve only seen a 4.3% abortive case fig­ure this year. Our cur­rent expe­ri­ence is that most peo­ple buy­ing and sell­ing, are seri­ous about doing so.

How­ev­er, on the flip­side’, the same peo­ple are using more scruti­ny than wit­nessed in pre­vi­ous years, which is extend­ing the legal formalities.”

So what now for the local prop­er­ty market?

It is impor­tant to remem­ber that the under­ly­ing fac­tors that sup­port the prop­er­ty mar­ket remain: Low unem­ploy­ment, his­tor­i­cal­ly low inter­est rates and a pent-up demand for hous­es unless incomes fall dra­mat­i­cal­ly, and/​or inter­est rates rise sig­nif­i­cant­ly. The slow down can only be tem­po­rary, but we can’t pre­dict for how long.

The injec­tion of liq­uid­i­ty into the bank­ing sys­tem appears to be work­ing, and I expect more of the same by the Bank of Eng­land. Banks will need to begin to lend again fair­ly quick­ly, or their own busi­ness will suffer.

Final­ly, there is so much doom and gloom in the media, its impact will wane, and con­fi­dence will return.”


This arti­cle appeared in Wilm­slow Express Home­search 22/05/08