Embrace an easier selling environment

My local estate agent called me last week to discuss a valuation I’d had done on my property almost two years ago.

It took me by surprise as I’d had the valuation done for insurance purposes, but the reason for the estate agent’s call was something completely different.

It turns out that the housing market in my area is picking up, with demand outweighing supply.

The agent said that it’s a tough environment for them and the lack of houses for sale is a big issue that no amount of marketing or calling customers on file is going to solve.

In many respects I see this as a positive – finally we’re seeing consumer appetite and thus some confidence in the system again.

The recent announcement from Halifax that although house prices rose in October, they’re still 2.3% lower than at the end of 2009 only makes me think we could begin to see signs of recovery in the housing and mortgage market.

I can see opportunities for first-time buyers, who potentially have cleaner credit records and because the average house price now sits at just under £165,000.

This has a knock-on effect on other markets such as retail, especially outlets that are focussed on home improvements.

It’s been a tough year but maybe now is the time for advisers to see the beginnings of an easier selling environment, not just for mortgages but related protection insurance too.

Long may the good news continue, although I could really do without cold calls from estate agents.