before 2007 analysing property markets was a much simpler subject than it is today. Prices and demand rose year on year pretty much everywhere and at almost every level of the market. Then came the collapse of lehman brothers and the rest is history.
The peaks of 2007 are a distant memory and few would have thought back then that in 2012 we would be looking ahead and still expecting prices to be falling, demand to be slowing and economic uncertainty to be around the world once more. but the reality is that few real estate markets in 2012 are likely to be immune from a chronic lack of lending and weakened demand and sales. Here Ray Clancy, editor of Property Wire, looks at some key markets for the year ahead and analyses what might happen.
There are two main factors that will decide what will happen in global property markets in 2012, the eurozone crisis, which can only have a negative effect, and the growth of emerging markets in South America and Asia, and a general lack of lending in key developed markets such as the United States and the UK. But all could see a knock back if the euro currency breaks up. Indeed, revelations about the UK, for example, making plans to evacuate expats from Spain and Portugal if these countries leave the euro, and many other European Union member states saying they have contingency plans to temporarily shut their borders if the currency goes down the swanny, does not help. If you currently own a second home in Europe, are thinking of buying one, or are an investor or an expat with real estate in more than one country, such reports might seem alarming. But there have been riots in the streets of Athens and London in 2011 and it is only right that governments should make plans in case of the worst scenario happening.
Whether as a buyer, seller or an investor, you are concerned about these is very much a personal choice, but looking at the situation from a more optimistic point of view 2012 is going to be a great time to buy property around the world as prices continue to fall in markets like the US, Spain, Portugal, Italy and the UK. As many experts point out, there are plenty of bargains around. United Kingdom The UK residential property market is expected to be stable in 2012 with little change in prices overall although the economic outlook is uncertain.
Analysts expect the Bank of England’s base rate to remain at 0.5% throughout the year and although there will be weak economic growth, high unemployment and mortgage funding pressures there are a lot of positives as well. They point to affordability in the market place, a low lending rate, low levels of forced sales and a long term supply and demand imbalance as being good points for the year ahead. ‘The housing market has proved highly resilient in recent months despite the weak economic recovery and the significant deterioration in the outlook for both the UK and global economies,’ said Halifax’s housing economist, Martin Ellis.
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