House prices down but market moving

THE housing market may be depressed, but in and around Huntingdonshire it is doing much better than a year ago. Estate agents Sharman Quinney, which has 17 branches in and around the district, reports January sales up 37 per cent on January 2008. There s

THE housing market may be depressed, but in and around Huntingdonshire it is doing much better than a year ago.

Estate agents Sharman Quinney, which has 17 branches in and around the district, reports January sales up 37 per cent on January 2008.

"There's a myth out there that the market is depressed," said managing director Mike Sharman. "There are more buyers out there and more opportunistic buyers. But it's going to be another long year: there's no doubt about that."

Mr Sharman said the company had prepared for the increasing levels of activity last year by rationalising and bringing in new people.


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Activity at the start of February had been depressed by the bad weather, but he expected to market to deliver its usual seasonal rally in the spring.

"I'm certainly expecting to see things improve this year, as the lenders start to relax their attitudes, even though people will need larger deposits. And that's not a bad thing.

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"The rate of fall in the number of transactions and in prices will start to slow," he predicted. "The key will be unemployment.

"But there are more and more buyers coming back into the market with more confidence. And they want to get in at the right time.

"The reduction in interest rates and more liquidity in the mortgage markets will certainly help us to see light at the end of the tunnel.

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