IT HAS been, as they say, a game of two halves. Although our predictions have hardly altered in the past week, this belies considerable activity from our clients, split evenly between buyers and sellers.
Half our clients believe that the market has peaked and have decided to take profits, while the other half still believe in the enduring momentum of Mr Bull. The optimists could be forgiven for thinking the pessimists are again crying wolf and that those dark clouds on the horizon never actually produce a storm.
Our prediction to the end of June 2004 for England and Wales remains unchanged — an 11.1 per cent rise — as does the expected fall for Greater London of 0.6 per cent.
The rise for the South East is up to 3.3 per cent from 3 per cent; for the North from 15.4 per cent to 16 per cent; and for Wales from 11.8 per cent to 12.3 per cent.
Next week the HM Land Registry figures for the third quarter are released. They will be looking at the past.
The future rests with the members of the Monetary Policy Committee and the increasing difficulty of first-time buyers to reach that first rung on the property ladder. Without first-time buyers, who fuels the market?