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What Does 2012 Have in Store for Property?

by Alison Feemantle

As another tough year for the housing market draws to a close, many experts are taking time to predict trends for the coming twelve months. While some will paint a predictably gloomy picture, others have provided a more positive outlook for 2012.

The Telegraph have had their say this week and their predictions offer a mix of positivity with a hint of caution for the year ahead.

Rental properties are constantly in the news and while demand is high, it’s suggested that Landlords will be charging higher monthly rental charges in order to cash in on the current state of the market.

That would seem a logical conclusion but it is at odds with a recent suggestion that rental prices are experiencing a slight fall. A survey by LSL Property Services claims that prices fell by 0.4% in November – the first drop for ten months.

“Following their relentless march upward throughout the year, rent rises have taken a pause for breath,” said LSL director David Newnes.

Elsewhere, there are predictions of a rise in innovative schemes such as the Taylor Wimpey Family and Friends advantage where friends and relatives of the property buyer put money into the overall purchase and earn interest on that figure.

With new buyers turning to parents and anyone with sufficient collateral to help them fund a deposit, a rise in similar schemes could be evident in 2012. In addition, the growth of shared equity and shared ownership schemes is also expected to rise over the course of the next twelve months.

Those that are able to secure a mortgage could well be in a stronger position than ever before when it comes to buying new homes. With demand showing a slight increase, tempered by a strict mortgage market, it’s felt that those buyers who can secure a home loan will be holding out for greater discounts as well as bonuses such as an increase in fixtures and fittings.

Other predictions include more aggressive marketing from estate agents as they battle to take their share of the current situation. A single advertisement in the shop window will no longer be enough as vendors demand that their agent works harder for their commission.

Overall, the survey isn’t making any bold predictions in what promises to be another tough year. Small changes are promised here that could benefit the housing market slightly, while avoiding any drastic improvement or the alarming slump that some are predicting.

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