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Editor's Introduction January 2015

Carpe Diem is a Latin aphorism for 'Seize the Day', and for anyone who is serious about property investment, it's a quote well worth remembering.

Have you started the year completely focused on achieving your investing goals for 2015? If not, why not, is the key question that should be in your mind. Or are you like so many people I meet, stumbling along on a day to day basis, mostly being reactive to events, whereas you should be taking a proactive approach to achieve success in property investing.

And it's not just investors, landlords and property professionals who are focused on achieving success this year, as with a General Election looming fast our politicians look set to relentlessly bombard us over the upcoming months with their 'spin' in this digital 24/7 age.

A year ago in this January edition I wrote a piece here which summarised the increasing optimism which we had been seeing in the market and at that time I was very positive about investment prospects for the year ahead. A year later, looking back in my rear view mirror, my optimistic view proved mostly correct, as for many people in property it's been a period of strong growth in asset values.
However the year ahead looks somewhat less defined as there are more macro-economic 'risk factors' to consider which might just upset the ongoing economic recovery and confidence levels; the key factors which underlined property value growth in most UK regions over the last year.

My crystal ball is less clear this January than a year ago but I remain upbeat and am certainly not alone, as many property investors and trade professionals do see a 'window of opportunity' ahead with Bank Rate at 0.5% as the UK economy gradually recovers and with house prices in some regions just starting to increase. The impact of the halving in oil prices has seen pump prices on the forecourt dropping sharply, resulting in many of us having £60-£120 a month extra in our purses or wallets compared to a few years ago when here in the UK we were paying £1-40 or so a litre.

Lenders are also more confident to lend at increasingly competitive rates and new buy-to-let (BTL) lenders such as Fleet Mortgages are emerging with increasing competition to lend on both residential and commercial property. And it's not just the politicians who see opportunity ahead as many property marketers are speculating about a 'wall of money' from Pension Reform which looks set to be flowing into BTL property as the year unfolds.

So there are many things in place about which we can feel positive but any further rapid growth in average property values, particularly for London, looks much less likely this year. But as I remarked here a month ago, there are always investing opportunities about and the article on page 20 should certainly reinforce this. And finally ....do please keep a very close eye on your email inbox over the next few weeks, as we will be notifying you very soon about the events we have planned for 2015 that I first mentioned here last month.

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