The first few months of 2014 were extraordinarily busy with many houses going under offer very quickly and often over asking price as a result of pent up demand. This was particularly true of the town market and has been the case in all the areas we cover. Schooling continues to be the driving factor in choice of location for many of these purchases but we are now also seeing buyers from the north of the country looking for property within easy reach of Cambridge as a result of company relocations and we anticipate another surge of demand from this type of buyer during the autumn.
We are midway through the property year and, while the market seems to have steadied in the past couple of months, property is still big news. The headlines in our press and often the lead items on television and radio news are the housing market and what it is doing or going to do.
It is frustrating that so often journalists’ comments refer to a market which does not really exist at all since there are huge differences in the housing market across the country and, especially, central London. Also, alarming statements about housing bubbles do not help much. Now the Chancellor, George Osborne, and Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, have prepared measures designed to halt a headlong dive into another housing crisis.
But the feeling of those of us who work in property every day is that things might have already steadied themselves due, in part, to harsher mortgage lending criteria and the satisfaction of this pent up demand but also, at the higher end of the market, uncertainty over future government taxation policies.
There will be new challenges such as interest rates gradually increasing in a sensitively controlled way but there is no reason why this should harm the market in the short or medium term. In general, we feel that the second part of the year will be much the same as the first – a balanced market with some really great opportunities for both buyers and sellers.
If you are considering selling at some point in the next couple of years or are simply curious as to the value of your property in the current market conditions, please don’t hesitate to call your local office, we would be delighted to help.