Looking back through its archive, Savills’ 20-year-old research department points out that we have just seen the end of a 17 or 18 year-old cycle with the first signs of optimistic change in the market.
 
Quarterly falls in central London are half the level they were last year, explains Yolande Barnes from Savills’ residential research department, with the number of buyer inquiries up significantly, which is beginning to translate into transactions.
 
Mrs Barnes says that perhaps we can now repeat verbatim something that was written by Savills’ researchers back in December 1992: ‘It is rather unfashionable at present to be optimistic regarding the future of the housing market, but we now believe that conditions are looking more favourable for recovery than at any time since the market turned down.’
 
Having said this, Mrs Barnes says she is ‘no way anticipating a rapid bounce-back in values,’ but believes ‘the residential market has seen the worst of the falls.’
 
The falls already seen mean housing is now looking like good value, according to Barnes, particularly with the current low interest rates.
 
‘This has important implications for investors. Yields have now moved out to levels that look very attractive against gilts and the poor performance of equities and other investment sectors makes property look relatively attractive again,’ she adds.