October Market Comment
Brexit is looming….
Figures released from various sources suggest that the market–in terms of house prices at least, are holding their own, despite the political uncertainty we are currently witnessing. Year on year figures range from +0.6% (Land Registry) to +1.1% (Halifax). Nothing spectacular as an investment return, but it does demonstrate once again how resilient and reliable property can be – especially when it is regarded as a home rather than a commodity.
In the absence of the speculative buyers of yesteryear, the fact is that today’s buyers still need to buy and they have real reasons for doing so–job, marriage, children, divorce, debt,death etc. Affordability is at a record high and both unemployment and interest rates remain at a record low. In other words, all the metrics are in place for sustained stability in the housing market. If anything were to have dramatically affected the property market–it would have done so by now; and any issues caused by a weaker pound have apparently been off set by an influx of over seas investors looking to pick up a bargain. Of course, prices have also been maintained by a slight shortage of stock in relation to relatively high demand.
This shortage seems to have been caused by potential sellers sitting on the fence waiting to see the outcome of Brexit. Interestingly their “worry” could actually prove to become a self-fulfilling prophesy as, once we have some clarity over Brexit, the flood gates will no doubt open, and many people will want to get moving once again, there by increasing supply and potentially weakening prices (a bit). In the meantime – we are enjoying the current level of buyer activity and if you’d like to take advantage of this lull before the storm, you could do worse than to consider selling before the end of the year.
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You might be in for a pleasant surprise! We don’t bite.