Hamptons International has released their predictions for the property market in 2009 and they include reasons for the industry to stay cheerful, despite the gloomy economic backdrop to the beginning of the year.

They include the following:

* Low interest rates decrease the cost of borrowing

* Prices have almost bottomed out – with an expected fall further of 5%-10% the market should pick up from the middle of the year.

* The UK property market is already much more attractive to overseas buyers since the pound dropped 25% against the Euro and 30% against the Dollar

* Vendors are more accepting of realistic pricing which was not the case at the beginning of last year

* Banks are under extreme pressure to increase liquidity

* Stock of available property is down 25% since May last year according to Hamptons figures. A reduction in supply will take some downward pressure off prices which also suggests the bottom of the market could not be far away

‘Increased buyers and seller confidence will not happen overnight,’ said Marc Goldberg, head of residential sales at Hamptons International. ‘Any uplift will also be dependent on factors such as mortgage availability, unemployment levels, the degree and duration of recession on the high street and overall global economic outlook.

‘However, we believe that the sharp correction in house prices that took place throughout 2008 will positively impact the 2009 housing market, as people being to realise that the worst of the house price falls have already happened; boosting optimism and confidence and encouraging growing numbers of prospective buyers to start their search for a new home.’