In the UK housing market, there is a desire to look for good news at any point in order to bring confidence. Sometimes confidence and positivity in the market place can provide an upturn in events and it is understandable that industry experts are cautious with their statements. While good news is always positive to hear in the housing market, it is important to ensure that expectations are kept to a reasonable level. The latest results posted by Countrywide, a national estate agent chain, are promising but the company is keen to state that the recovery is still at an initial stage.
The company announce that they sold 9% more homes and had arranged a 26% more mortgages for clients in 2013 than they had done in 2012. This is great news for the firm and the property market as a whole but in an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live’s Breakfast Show, the Chief Executive of Countrywide, Grenville Turner stated that the country is still a “million miles away from a housing bubble” With the clear majority of house prices in the United Kingdom still below the peak levels that were experienced in 2007, this is very true but there is definitely a lot to feel positive about in the current market.
First time buyers are getting younger again
In other figures, the company said that 60% of first time buyers are aged between 25 and 34 and the number of older first time buyers is declining. There is an acceptance that first time buyers are generally the key drivers in the property market so anything which indicates a growth in this area is of benefit. The Help To Buy scheme has helped many people to find their place on the property market. Countrywide expect this scheme to be of benefit for the next few years but by 2017, the scheme is expected to be irrelevant, thanks to the resumption of normal conditions in the property market.
The firm were also quick to point out that the increase of first time buyers generally leads onto an increase in second and third time buyers as more buyers are able to shift up on the property ladder. Countrywide also believe that this will have a positive impact on the UK economy as a whole as new buyers are more likely to spend sums of money on DIY and decorations.
Given the recent and current state of the property market, there is always a desire to find good news. Countrywide are definitely seeing signs of improvement at the start of 2014 but they are right to advise caution at this current time.