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News and views on the property market – 10 Dec 2009

Market Overview
2009 draws to a close with the second and third quarters showing a recovery in house prices. Although prices are still 4.1% lower than a year ago the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors  commented in October that this was the strongest survey result in favour of rising prices since December 2006.
Sellers are slowly beginning to return to the market but are still being outweighed by the number of potential buyers registered with estate agents which points to further modest price increases in the near future.  At the same time looking ahead to 2010 there is still some uncertainty. The economy remains  fragile, recent price rises could lead to a flood of properties as ‘accidental landlords’ take the opportunity to sell, and the return of stamp duty from £125,000 will impact on first time buyers.
2010 should provide buyers with good opportunities, although competition for genuinely good stock will be strong. Properties bought at the right price should certainly represent a good medium to long term investment.