Friday, February 6 2004

Hamptons International estate agents’ figures for January seem to confirm that the December dip in activity is firmly behind us.

Andrew Marshall from the Hamptons Marlborough office said they were experiencing a 500% uplift in sales, and that they had agreed their first sale of the year by 9.30am on January 2.

A rapid increase is fully expected for the first quarter of 2004, with prices rising around 5% agents say, a figure Hamptons’ Country Sales Director David Adams concurs with: ‘Early 2004 will see a large number of property transactions. Sales during this period will contribute to a rise in property prices of between 5 and 7%,’ he said.

Mr Adams also predicts that April will see seasonal flooding of the market with properties for sale, which should curb further rises in property values.

He picks February and March as likely to be the best months to sell this year due to the prevailing short supply in the market.

‘We are encouraging prospective vendors not to delay, to capitalise on the highest levels of demand we have witnessed for some years. There is no guarantee that demand will remain this high if interest rates continue to rise, as is predicted,’ said London Sales Director Marc Goldberg.

Overall the message for those considering selling is do so sooner rather than later, as the market will flood earlier this year than is traditional, and prices will not continue to rise at the same levels into the summer.