PROPERTY agents in York are looking towards improvement in the market in 2013.

Despite ongoing economic uncertainty, “realistically priced and proactively marketed” properties were still creating interest, said Ed Stoyle, partner and head of residential for Carter Jonas in York.

He said: “2012 has proved to be another year of highs and lows – some properties have sold well amid healthy competition, while others have taken longer to find the right buyer. Confidence remains fragile.”

He said he anticipated a general improvement in market conditions in 2013, although this will not necessarily result in an increase in prices. “We have a good number of buyers who are keen and motivated to purchase properties now and these will only increase as we move into the New Year. Likewise, we are already instructed on a number of exciting and interesting houses with a view to commencing marketing early in the New Year.

“Our advice for anyone who is considering moving at some point in the New Year is not to delay – get on and take advantage of improving market conditions. There may well be positive pent up demand with more active buyers and fewer properties being offered for sale than later in the spring.”

James Baker, senior director of Preston Baker, said the firm had experienced a reduction in the number of new sellers coming to the market in the third and fourth quarters of 2012.

He said: “This may sound like a reason for further gloom but in fact the consequence has been that sales rates have increased.

“Because mortgage lending is still restricted despite the government’s Funding For Lending scheme, there is a finite number of ready, willing and able purchasers. A small decrease in the number of new listings has actually created more confidence in the market as a higher proportion of stock is now sold.”

The Council For Mortgage Lenders has just announced that the number of new mortgage approvals is up 10.2 per cent on October 2011 and an even higher rise of 19 per cent increase in the number of approvals going to first time buyers, he said.

“Lots of customers will be considering selling in 2013 and I believe it will be a stronger year than 2012 has been. At Preston Baker we have grown by over 25 per cent in 2012, so we feel very optimistic about next year.”