2006 & 2007 were seen by many as boom years for the property market, with prices increasing aggressively and mortgage money easy to secure, it paved the way for huge transaction numbers.
In 2006 there were 1,404,710 property completions and in 2007 there were 1,361,510.
What followed was an incomparable financial crisis, which hit the property market hard, so much so that transaction levels in 2008 shrank to just 750,930 almost half of the previous 2 years. It was such an immediate impact that it caught many agents off-guard and forced them to re-examine their business models.
From 2008 to 2011 numbers struggled to get above 750,000 per year as the market continued to limp along with sales being mainly made up of the three necessities – death, divorce & re-location. In other words there weren’t many luxury movers, people were concerned about job stability, the state of the economy and most of all banks more or less stopped lending whilst they licked their wounds from the banking crisis.
In 2012 we began to see some “green shoots” of recovery and transaction levels increased to over 800,000, in 2013 this number is expected to have risen again to over 920,000.
2014 has started with a bang and it seems that the market has a real appetite to buy again, this has been assisted by the government’s help to buy scheme which is helping thousands of people and not just limited to first time buyers.
Mortgage products are more readily available, employment figures are positive, the economy feels as good as it’s been for many years and most importantly people have confidence once again to upscale and move forward with plans that had been shelved through the dark years of 2008-2012
The 1,000,000 transactions marker is key and my prediction is that 2014 will see a breakthrough this level. For the market to have a healthy balance we need to regularly breakthrough 1m transactions so here’s hoping it’s not a one-off!