Price rise is on the cards for this year

Everybody will be busy making predictions this month and hopefully there will be more optimism than pessimism.

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When you look at market conditions it is hard to see any major differences between January 2011 and 2012.

Buyers still need a big deposit – higher LTVs are creeping in but the underwriting is nigh on impossible. Big deposits get better rates and direct lenders are trying to cherry-pick the best clients.

Interest-only and lending into retirement are still confused areas for most lenders and there is no consistency of policy.

Having said this, I believe 2012 is going to be the year of house price increases. Having seen so many stock market fluctuations during recent months investors will shy away from stocks and settle on property.

The continued toughness in the mortgage market is going to strengthen the rental market and good returns can be made. I also feel 2012 is going to mark a significant change in our holiday patterns and many more will settle for a break in the UK.

We are creatures who like our own space, so the holiday cottage market will also show big returns.

I’m not going to put my neck on the line and say how much properties will rise but they will – mark my words.