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After the frenetic post-lockdown activity levels of 2021, the festive break was a welcome breather for all at Hollands Smith and enabled us to recharge the batteries for the New Year.

Following strong gains in prices and unprecedented volumes of transactions it was reasonable to assume that the market would calm down.

The early January activity, however, suggested otherwise. Our photographers were kept busy as New Year listings began strongly and the diary took on a familiarly full status. The majority of our fresh properties to the market created healthy levels of interest. Multiple offers for the same home was, again, not uncommon and turnaround times from listing a property to agreeing a sale was relatively short in most cases.

As the imbalance between supply and demand continued the upward pressure on prices remained.

As with every market, this cannot continue indefinitely as the gap between affordability and property values widen. There is always a tipping point. A major contributory factor in fuelling house prices is low interest rates which have been at their record low for many years. These are now creeping up although remain, historically, extremely affordable for most. The heavily publicised ‘cost of living crisis’, high inflation and the downturn in the economy following the fallout of Covid and Brexit will have an impact.

Will we begin to see a level of caution descending on the market?

For now, it’s a little early to tell. There’s no doubt that Bedford remains a popular ‘hot spot’ with out of town buyers which will, I think, largely counter any cooling of market temperatures nationally. The volume of transactions may reduce but limited supply of available stock is likely to result in prices holding up in this region for a while yet. Crystal ball, anyone?