The Chairman's view

The Chairman's view

Economists are a miserable bunch, aren't they? After all the doom and gloom the property industry has endured over the last few years, you'd have thought the market picking up would be seen as a positive.

After an excellent year in 2013, the number of property transactions has continued to increase into 2014. Rather than viewing this as an encouraging sign though, some 'experts' have decided to pour cold water on any talk of recovery, instead warning of bubbles and booms.

According to the Nationwide building society, the average cost of a home rose by more than 8% last year. Figures given by the Bank of England showed that the number of mortgages had risen to the highest level in almost six years too, with some 70,758 mortgages worth £11.1 billion approved in November.

Of course, I'm not naïve enough to think that this rapid growth can only be seen as a positive, but surely growth is better than stagnation? It's not as if there's nothing that can be done to control the rate of recovery either. The Bank of England has already scrapped the 'Funding for Lending' scheme for mortgages in an attempt to cool the housing market, and I'm sure if necessary, the 'Help to Buy' scheme could also be scaled back.

Besides which, the reported figures are exacerbated somewhat by the London market, where house prices rose by over 15% in 2013. While Manchester also saw similar levels of growth, they were the exception to the norm compared to elsewhere in Northern England and Scotland. When you consider that house prices in major cities such as Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle increased by little over 1% last year, this tells us that there's still plenty of scope for growth.

While we shouldn't completely disregard any talk of bubbles, overheated markets and unsustainable growth, it'd be nice if, rather than only talking up the negative aspects, a few of these experts would acknowledge that the housing market recovery is a good thing.