Is now the right time to sell?

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The precarious state of the UK economy has certainly had an impact on the property market. Prices dropped by as much as 19 per cent in some areas. Last year saw a radical improvement but will this continue into 2010?

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Many experts believe a shortage in the supply of housing and low interest rates will help to keep the market high this year - but with a general election looming there is an air of uncertainty. What do industry leaders say about the year ahead?

The Council Of Mortgage Lenders expects new mortgage lending to reach £15 billion, a vast improvement on predicted figures but still below normal levels. The Halifax predicts the market to remain flat in 2010, as does Rightmove. They forecast that asking prices will stand still over the next 12 months.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
is slightly more optimistic, predicting a one to two per cent increase. So is this a good time to sell? RICS finds that the increase in demand still appears to be outstripping the increase in supply, which is good news if you want to put your house on the market. The improvement in house prices has been regional. Increases are still widespread in London and the South East but are falling in Northern Ireland. Smaller falls have been recorded in Wales and the West and East Midlands.

Hometrack predicts a one per cent drop in house prices, with new buyer registrations slowing. If you are trying to sell in the South East or London you should be able to sell and prices have stabilised but other regions will see tougher times with pressure on sellers to drop prices. The market has favoured the cash-rich buyer as lending has tightened. This helps if you are selling an expensive property but the supply of large deposit buyers will dry up. The good news is that the year ahead may see improvements for first time buyers with lenders set to introduce affordable deals with only a 10 per cent deposit. This is good news for those selling homes with a more modest price tag, despite the end of the stamp duty break.

So what do you think, will you be selling your property this year or will you wait it out in the hope of an improvement in the market? Or are you looking to buy and hoping prices won't rise? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.