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Better Late Than Never

Nick Churton of Mayfair International Realty takes a seasonal look at the property market.

It has been a long time coming. The seasons in many regions are out of kilter and flowering is very late. But now the climate is warmer. Things are stirring. People feel better. There is a mood of renewal and a fresh start. I speak of course of the real estate market. It has been a very long winter - about seven years of real estate winter in market terms. Some people who are new to the property industry have never had experience of working in a burgeoning market. All they know are falling prices, low activity levels and stalemate.

So the market at present must be rather a shock to them. Instead of endless days of waiting for something - anything - to happen, suddenly it is happening. Spring has sprung. In many places property is coming onto the market in very high numbers and in others there are plenty of eager buyers but not so many listings. It all adds up to much greater activity.

What has caused this change? Is it governmental involvement and initiatives? Although they probably would like everyone to think so I very much doubt that it is. Rather it is people who have sensed that the time is right for a move - and if not quite as right as it could be, as right as it has been for many a long year.

Governments don't make markets. Indeed it often seems to be the other way round. Confidence makes the wheels of the real estate market turn, which then helps drive national economies.

So the real estate market in many areas is more active now than it has been for years. This is helped by low interest rates, an better attitude to lending, more new home starts and a population fed up with property austerity - whilst feeling a bit better about things in general. The younger people in the property market won't know what has hit them. Nor will those home-buyers who wait too long to make a move if this property spring becomes a summer.