Whilst the tail of end of 2011 was punctuated with political and economic turmoil across the globe, applicant levels in December were up six per cent on the same time last year, according to the latest figures from Hamptons International.
At a time when demand for property traditionally slows down, Hamptons International reported a 30 per cent yearly increase in web hits during December. Furthermore, the figures show that number of new applicants exceeded the same time in 2007 by nine per cent.
Marc Goldberg, Head of Sales at Hamptons International says: "Realistic pricing will continue to be a key theme this year and the expectation gap between buyers and sellers remains - however, the current economic back drop means that residential property is offering investors a long term, safe haven for their money now more than ever. The cost of borrowing for many is particularly attractive at the moment and whether investment is for buy to let or owner occupation, lender competition on the high street is encouraging favourable rates."
Across the business, stock levels have increased by three per cent year on year highlighting a marginal increase in vendor confidence. Certain areas of the country have experienced a notable increase in stock: the Western region in particular has seen the biggest increase when compared with the same time last year (up 13 per cent) followed by the South East (up seven per cent).
Marc Goldberg continues: "We're now experiencing significant applicant increases coupled with heightened stock levels, which is an encouraging sign for the market this year. With more stock trickling through and rising levels of applicants, it's likely that there will be increased activity levels in the first quarter of 2012."
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