Good start to the new year

The chairman of the Norwich & District Association of Estate Agents, Giles Hart, tells us why 2007 has started on an upbeat note.

The chairman of the Norwich & District Association of Estate Agents, Giles Hart, tells us why 2007 has started on an upbeat note.

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The recent quarter percent interest rate increase by the Bank of England to 5.25pc, although a month earlier than expected, will not have too much impact on the housing market, as 2007 begins optimistically.

House sales in 2006 improved dramatically as buyers were encouraged by attractive borrowing rates.


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Going into this year, we have 14pc more buyers looking for properties than we had at the start of the same period last year.

This shows buyers are confident and if you put this latest interest rate rise into perspective it is only half a percent higher than two years ago. This stability has given buyers the perfect platform to move home and, as long as house prices are realistic, I see no reason why this should change in the near future.

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Overall in 2006, sales were up more than 10pc. Generally, the problem is we don't have enough properties to sell to satisfy demand.

The situation for first-time buyers remains difficult - finding a deposit is the main problem for them. However, more encouragingly, there are a number of lenders looking to address this and more products are available to help ease the burden of finding a deposit.

If you're serious about buying, it's always worthwhile sitting down and talking to a mortgage consultant to find out exactly what your options are.

Although buy-to-let investors are still a major force in the market - and with many professional investors and property investment clubs still purchasing, taking a long-term view of their portfolios - most of us are buying property as a home.

Two of the reasons we move home are becoming more influential.

Our workforce is having to be more transient and growing families are increasingly desiring to be close to the best-performing schools.

This will ensure that demand in our market is maintained, making 2007 will be a good time to enjoy a new home.

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