A little bit of good news reported by nasdaq.com this week is that, according to the RICS, the property market appears to have made a slight recovery since the beginning of the New Year.
Property prices haven’t really changed much, but the number of successful transactions has risen, indicating that home movers are beginning to pick up a bit more confidence in the housing market once more.
Although progress is still tentative, as new listings have been held back by the heavy snow in many areas, the outlook on the whole seems quite positive for the start of 2013.
This flurry of movement may have been helped along by the recent rise in lending, coupled with the announcement of record low rates being made available by mortgage lenders. For those able to stump up a 40% deposit, HSBC is now offering a two-year fixed rate of 1.98pc, closely followed by Yorkshire, Norwich & Peterborough and Chelsea building societies offering 1.99%. First time buyers are also benefitting from lower rates, although at an average of 4.11% for a 2yr fix, even these seem a bit on the steep side in comparison!
With the prices of property still at a relative low, alongside the low rates currently available from lenders, it’s looking like a good time to be a first time buyer if you can get your deposit together. This has been reflected by the number of first time buyer transactions in 2012 increasing to its highest level for five years.
According to Peter Rollings, CEO of Marsh & Parsons Estate Agents, getting first time buyers on the ladder allows others to move on further up the chain, so if this trend continues, the property market could start to pick up again. Helped along by the Funding for Lending scheme, Mortgage providers seem to have gained confidence to start lending again which should in turn lead to progress once more for homebuyers.
There’s no getting away from it – the 14th was Valentine’s Day, and adding a romantic flavour to our roundup this week is this little heart-shaped island which is for sale in Canada, close to Montreal. Known as Blueberry Island, even the name sounds cute. This secluded getaway has its own log cabin, complete with sauna, and at around £894,000 would probably be one of the most expensive Valentine’s day gifts on record but would earn you some serious brownie points from your loved one! Whoever said Valentine’s Day has got out of hand?