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Property markets finding their feet

Property markets finding their feet

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 17/11/2009
First Published: 17/11/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Prospects for the property market continue to improve after the UK housebuilder Barratt Developments said homebuyers were returning to the market.

In an interim statement, the group revealed that in the 19 weeks to 8 November, private reservations per site were running 34% ahead of last year.

Its debt levels have also been substantially reduced, while the firm said it was now in a strong position to buy land as opportunities emerged.

Despite suggesting the stability seen in the property market over the first half of the year had continued, lenders were warned they still have an important role to play in the ongoing recovery.

"While trading conditions in the housing market have improved, activity levels will remain constrained until the availability of mortgage finance increases, particularly at higher loan to value levels," said Mark Clare, CEO Barratt Developments.

Meanwhile, there are suggestions that the 'worst storm in real estate history' might also have passed, after British Land revealed the value of its portfolio increased by 1.4% in the second quarter of the year.

The UK's largest landlord and developer said that 70% of its properties had increased in value since June, with a positive shift in investor appetite combined with limited volumes of stock helping to push market valuations higher.

While optimistic for the future, Chris Gibson-Smith, British Land chairman, said he was mindful that the waves caused by the financial maelstrom of the last two years had not yet settled.

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