Sales Soar And Prices Settle As Golden Summer Gives Way To Autumn

2nd November 2012

2012 will be remembered as starting very gloomily with predictions that the UK economy would slip back into recession. Sure enough it did and this double dip turned out to be considerably worse than feared. Inevitably, this resulted in a very flat housing market with the volume of transactions lower than ever, borrowing almost impossible and most people far more concerned with job security and making ends meet than moving house.

The Golden Jubilee seems a distant memory and the long weekend was a rather soggy affair. Here we were in June and property sales were still on the low side at a time of the year when agents are usually run off their feet with new instructions and closing negotiations.

The Golden Summer of sport then really kicked in. The Olympic Games, followed by the equally enthralling Para-Olympics gave the country much to be proud of. This on the back of our first Tour de France victory ever, the US Open champion, and then the incredible Ryder Cup comeback clinching victory from the jaws of defeat made us realise that despite the politicians there is still a Great before Britain.

Unfortunately, the hype created by such excellence led to a very quiet July and August as far as the property market was concerned. However, the RICS UK Housing Market Survey for September gives reason for optimism at least for the tail end of the year. Yorkshire is seeing a much stronger autumn market than for many years, transaction levels have picked up considerably, with George F White’s offices reporting unprecedented levels of agreed sales through September and October.

Prices also appear to have settled with average prices in Yorkshire showing a -1.4% decline over the last 12 months compared to -3.5% twelve months ago. In January 2012 the Land Registry was telling us that prices in Hartlepool were falling at a rate of -16.6% averaged out over the proceeding 12 months. Incredibly, September’s index showed a positive figure of 0.9%.

Recent Government initiatives appear to be freeing up mortgage availability which is further reason for optimism, which coupled with current trends is leading the RICS Survey of leading Agents to predict the most encouraging sales expectations since May 2010. At George F White serving the North East region we are confident that this surge of activity will continue well into the autumn period and hopefully the run up to Christmas ending 2012 with a golden flourish. As for predicting who will be this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year, I’ll leave that one to you!!