Oliver Miles comments on the state of the property market as Autumn 2021 nears.
 
Many buyers and sellers are currently asking us, “Where are we in the property cycle now that the Stamp Duty holiday is coming to an end?”. Let us liken the property cycle to a clock.

 Twelve o’clock strikes and we see panic buying, prices through the roof, little coming onto the market and what does sells almost at once. Buyers have little time to consider and they have to act immediately to be in with a chance. It is the classic sellers’ market.
 
Six o’clock is the opposite with plenty of properties on the market and very few buyers since most of them bought between 12 and 5 past the hour. Prices begin to steady, and could start to fall if sellers reduce their ambitious asking prices and buyers offer low. This is the classic buyers’ market.
 
Three and nine o’clock represent balanced markets. There are just enough properties for buyers to have some choice and time to consider, and sellers have the opportunity to wait for the right buyers. Everyone is reasonably happy as a balance is reached. Hitting this rare time of equilibrium is seldom done through good judgement, it is more often achieved through circumstances and good luck.

 We are probably now at about seven or eight minutes past the hour and we consider the property market is gradually working its way towards three o’clock - the perfect time to buy and sell.
 
The mad panic buying brought on by the Stamp Duty Holiday seems to have passed and we appear to be working towards steadier times. However, the property market does not always act like clockwork. The hand on the dial moves at different speeds depending on interest rates, inflation, supply and demand, and confidence. Very occasionally, the hand might even go anti-clockwise!