View more on these topics

NAEA reports buoyant festive period

Estate agents saw average house prices in December rise to 216,055, revealing an unusually buoyant market during the festive period, says the National Association of Estate Agents.

The number of buyers on estate agents books increased to 351 during December 2006.

This 16% increase was unusual for the time of year, as estate agents would expect a decrease in the number of aspiring buyers during the festive period.

First-time buyers once again improved their market share in December compared to December 2005.

This improvement from levels reported in 2005 is a continuing trend that has been reported by the survey for the last eight consecutive months.

Housing stock was depleted further in December, down by 7.3% from figures reported in November.

Traditionally very few people look to sell property during the festive period as they concentrate on family commitments.

However, with an increase in those registering an interest to buy, the market could become increasingly competitive, and as a consequence, prices may continue to rise.

Charles Smailes, president of the NAEA, says: The results of the December housing market survey are mostly encouraging, as the levels of activities reported are predictable for the time of year, as similar figures are reported year in year out.

It is pleasing to see the number of people registered to buy increasing – this leads me to believe that confidence in the market is on the up and bodes well for 2007.

I continue to be concerned about first-time buyers, without whom the market is unlikely to remain buoyant.

“The further rate rise seen in January and the threat of more rises to come will seriously stagnate this sector of the market, as mortgage repayments rise to unaffordable levels.


Rogues should be named and shamed

Do you ever ask your clients their star signs? No? Thought not. Well, for some reason last week I received a couple of pieces of research on how someone’s star sign affects their attitude to finance, including overseas investments.

I support the FSA’s willingness to act

In his speech at the Council of Mortgage Lenders annual conference Dan Waters, director of retail policy division for the Financial Service Authority, commented on the effectiveness of the Mortgage Conduct of Business rules so far.

Tories raise fears about economic outlook

Senior Conservative Party ministers have expressed concern about Britain’s economic outlook following publication of new statistics showing that prices are outstripping earnings while the jobs market is stagnating.Shadow chancellor George Osborne says: “This is yet more evidence that people’s earnings are failing to keep up with the rising cost of living. “Gordon Brown tries to […]

Overseas buyers take 90% of Oakwood

Merrill Lynch and Italian investment firm Compagnie Industriali Riunite have finalised their 90% acquisition of Oakwood Financial.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up