The spring sunshine reminds me we are about to enter a period that is traditionally busy for the property market. So it is full steam ahead as transactions grow and activity really kicks off. Or is it?
While the latest figures we have for transaction levels are for January, HMRC revealed they hit 97,320 during the month: a not insignificant drop of 6 per cent compared to January 2014.
So are we seeing a slower start to the year than anticipated? If so, why? I suspect a major factor is the election. Uncertainty about the result prevails and, with the political parties having differing views, it is no surprise that purchasers – particularly landlords and investors – are hesitant about adding to portfolios before 7 May.
The housing market hates uncertainty so we should not be surprised if there is continued pullback in transactions. If so, it heightens the importance of providing a full advice service across multiple product areas.
The good news is that demand remains strong, there is a commitment to build more homes from all parties and therefore, I suspect, the market will truly get into its stride from the summer.