Perhaps the new year is a time for some predictions as to how the residential property markets are going to perform during 2010.

The residential sales markets I believe are going to continue to experience low volumes of sales and listings.  We are in fact already seeing that the number of available stock is at it lowest level for 3 years.  The time of year will obviously reduce the new properties coming to the market however we have seen a slide of choice over the last few years.  In these times of uncertainty we are experiencing few speculative house sellers. The addition of up front marketing costs in the form of the Home Information Packs is also hindering the release of stock to the market.

Other issue particular this year will be the general election which we know needs to be call before the end of May 2010.  We have no knowledge yet when this will be but experience shows that, for a month whilst the election takes place and the politician clamber for our votes, the housing market stagnates.

The lack of sellers then come full circle as the homeowner that can not find a suitable replacement is not willing to put their property on the market.  The result less property choice and availability.

House prices in 2010

On the issue of house prices we have seen economist and property consultants suggest anything for a 7% drop to a 5 % gain.  These analyses are considering a wide range of factors many of which are just too unpredictable.

One major influence will be the continued low level of interest rates.  Should these stay at the 0.5% they are currently then things bode well for the year.  The worry, for the housing industry and of course the general economy, is that rises in interest rates with erode confidence.

From our point of view I think we will see great variety in the market.  The best properties, in good order, best locations and without blemishes will sell very well and even at price close to the peak of the market.  It’s the secondary locations or properties with problems that will find the going harder.