A new year often provides the opportunity to make a fresh start on a wide range of matters and with 2011 now behind us, the promise of a better real estate year in 2012 is an exciting one to contemplate. The past year has been one of the toughest in recent memory for the real estate industry, particularly coming off such a boom year in 2009-2010. The most recent data available shows that the Melbourne market had 22.3% less properties sold than the previous 12 months and is lagging some 28% below the 5 year average. Coupled with a drop in the Melbourne median price of 5.4% it all added up to a very challenging year. That's the bad news done with! Now for the good news: > Despite many real estate agencies closing across Victoria, not one Barry Plant franchise has closed during this downturn. > In fact, we gained market share last year and we now sit at approximately 10.6% of the Melbourne market (in sales). > The median price actually rose slightly in the past 3 months, despite the fall over the year. > Melbourne house prices are still up 44.8% since the beginning of 2007 which means that most home owners are still sitting on very strong capital growth. > Activity seems to be picking up a recent survey of the Barry Plant Group showed.