The market is likely to remain balanced in 2012

James Abbott MRICSLast year was one of contrasts in the Leicestershire, Rutland and north Northamptonshire region. Rather than the traditionally busy spring and autumn sales seasons, we’ve seen the market governed by the ebb and flow of public confidence in the economy which has led to some unusual peaks of activity.

April, with its four bank holidays, was quiet, followed by some excellent trading months in May and June. August saw a pause for breath, with rioting at home and fears of a default across the pond, which the mild weather in October and November led to another burst of activity.

2012 has got off to a flying start with properties to the value of nearly £2m being placed under offer in January alone. There has been an increase in new buyers registering their requirements helped by initiatives like our National Open House Day, taking place on the 17th March.

As always, best-in-class and correctly priced properties have sold well, along with those requiring refurbishment where value can be added. Properties are selling for over the guide price with competitive interest.

With confidence in the economy still fragile, the property market is likely to remain balanced over the next six months, but changing circumstances will always create demand. Interest rates are likely to remain low, and the government’s commitment to help first-time buyers should help stimulate the lower end of the market – allowing realistic sellers up the chain to move on.

The best way to encourage interest from serious buyers is to set a realistic guide price, thereby generating plenty of viewings and competitive interest.