In this column over recent months, I have reflected how 2021 was a year like no other for estate agents, provided my predictions for 2022, given a polite lecture to potential buyers who are sometimes
economical with the truth, extolled the virtues of colour in the home after visiting the tulip fields near Amsterdam and provided my views on the market after the first 3 months. We are now rapidly heading
to the half year and yes, it really is the longest day in only 10 days’ time and officially the start of summer. So what of the Yorkshire residential property market as we all contemplate the second half of 2022?
I said in March I had no idea what will happen, three months on and my view is no different. Large sectors of the media, the Yorkshire Post excepted, seem hellbent on constantly telling us the worst aspects of life. Things are not easy at present for some of us, of that there is no doubt but Yorkshire thriftiness shines through, witness my unscientific survey of a few fuel stations during my travels on Wednesday with diesel variously priced from 181.7 to 204.9 per litre, and you can guess which were the busiest. Meanwhile, my attempts to book a surprise dinner for two at the weekend at a well-known North Yorkshire restaurant failed, nor am I top of the reserve list either, although I live in hope. And there seems to be many who can still afford foreign holidays, witness the recent scenes at Leeds Bradford Airport. This fragmented view of life, particularly at LBA, seems to replicate much of what has been happening in the housing market.
The queues of expectant passengers represent the large number of homebuyers that have been avidly chasing the unusually low number of houses that have been offered for sale. Some of that pressure has now come out of the market, the queues are getting shorter and perhaps normality might start to return in the second half of the year. Some prospective buyers and sellers are being increasingly cautious and indeed some have put their plans on hold. The passengers who have decided not to travel you might say. Wait and see seemly being their callsign. There are those who are already mid-flight, for want of a better description. They decided to move some months ago and having found a buyer, they are now enduring the frustrations and delays of the English legal system. There is a further group who are still in the departure lounge, they have done their pre-flight checks (read mortgage affordability) and decided to carry on and move home in 2022. Perhaps they have yet to sell, but they are looking. And for those who have put their houses on the market, they could be considered as having taken off and are enjoying the flight, however smooth or bumpy it might prove to be. And there are also those who are coming into land, exchange of contracts beckons and the excitement of a new home looms ever larger on the horizon.
As the recent queues at Yeadon illustrate, there seems to be many who still want, and can afford, to go on holiday. That seems to be the case with the housing market, where buyers and sellers remain active however much certain sectors of the media would have us believe it is all doom and gloom. And in case you are wondering, yes I have seen the new Top Gun film, it was marvellous.
Tim Waring FRICS is Head of Residential at Lister Haigh www.listerhaigh.co.uk