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 that signs of the market picking up would be seen as a positive.
After an excellent year in 2013, the number of property transactions is continuing to rise this year. 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' driving up property prices.
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 their highest levels in almost six years, 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? After all, there are steps that can be taken to control the rate of recovery. 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 will also be scaled back.
The reported figures are exacerbated somewhat by the London market, where house prices rose by over 15% in 2013. Manchester also saw similar levels of growth, but they were the exception rather than 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 just 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.