PROPERTY experts say the outlook is bright for the autumn housing market. North East estate agents have spoken out about a turnaround in the property market, and say that the coming months could see yet more improvements.

However, the experts warn people not to succumb to speculation about the state of the market played out in the national Press.

However, the experts warn people not to succumb to speculation about the state of the market played out in the national Press.

Neil Foster, partner at Foster Maddison estate agents, said: “I find it frustrating that 2010 to date has been a 100% improvement on last year and the only doubt in terms of the autumn market as far as I can see is the constant scaremongering from the national media, particularly the dailies which are quick to gloss over the positive factors.

“Rightly or wrongly it makes people nervous. At the end of the day it’s not a balanced commentary.

“The market might be fragile but it’s not cataclysmic like it was when it blew up.

“No, we’re not back in the days of 2006, but we don’t expect that. What we have got now is a constant and steady market.”

He added: “There are still demands for a certain type of property, and the demand for those is not going to go away as there just isn’t enough of them – particularly three-bedroomed semis in popular areas such as Hexham and Lanchester.

“We are going into one of the busiest selling periods of the year and we are now hitting the second busiest month and we should be upbeat.”

Justin Anim, managing director of Pattinson estate agents, agreed that the outlook is far from bleak but that sellers need to be realistic about the prices they can achieve.

He said: “There has been more stock coming on to the market in recent months, the abolition of HIPs helping this along, and so vendors need to be realistic with prices to achieve a sale.

“There’s no lack of people wanting to buy houses. But first-time buyers with small deposits are still finding it difficult to find a mortgage.”

He also warns people not to succumb to media speculation about house prices. He said: “One paper said the other day that house prices are set to rocket and the other said they are set to collapse.

“But the fact is there is not one complete housing market – house prices are affected at a micro level and with things that happen on a regional basis.”

The Journal’s Open House event today could bolster the market further. The event is to help people who want to sell their homes to showcase them to as many would-be buyers as possible.

About 320 homes will be open to potential buyers between 11am and 3pm today and would-be buyers will be able to view as many properties as they wish, in the areas where they want, without having to pre-book viewing appointments with estate agents.

All of the properties taking part in the Open House event can be viewed on openhouseweekend


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