The third and fourth quarters of 2009 and first quarter (to date) of 2010 have seen some considerable recovery in house prices. Market supply is low, borrowing is cheap (if you can get it) and the returns from other investments are poor. The amount of house purchases made without mortgages certainly points to investor interest.
2010 looks set to be a year of opposing forces that could make for considerable uncertainty in the housing market. Certainly a quick recovery to 2007 values seems unlikely.
Exerting upward pressure on prices will be the following key factors:
So, there are certainly continuing factors that could put upward pressure on house prices factors throughout 2010. This, however, is not the whole story. There are a number of factors which point to the recent price rises being a temporary (at least in part) bounce on the path to a much more subdued 2010 and slow recovery thereafter. These are:
Taking these positive and negative factors into consideration, what lies in store for residential property for the rest of 2010?
Some, if not most, of the recent prices rises are a temporary bounce albeit a perfectly rational reaction to a number of the positive factors previously discussed occurring at the right time for purchasers. These gains will be largely wiped out going into 2010 with prices bumping along at late 2008, early 2009 levels for much of 2010. Properties bought at the right price now will certainly represent a good medium to long-term call and as always there will be exceptional properties and market sectors which will continue to perform despite the economic situation. Increased supply, re-pricing of stock and a fragile economic situation are likely to lead to a very flat 2010.
This picture is certainly not all “doom and gloom” as 2010 will prove to be a good buying opportunity in perhaps the best “buyers market” for 10-15 years.
The main question concerns supply or lack of it. Will there or won’t there be good new property coming to the market this Spring? It depends where you are – some agents are reporting plenty of valuations and lots of instructions. But then – they always have!
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There is some detail emerging from the new Con-Lib Government, but uncertainty remains with many as the ramifications of changes and possible changes are chewed over. The market always suffers from reduced activity in times of uncertainty, so there will no doubt be would-be sellers delaying (again) the moment they put...
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