Whichever side of the great Brexit divide you are on, let’s be honest none of us are any the wiser as to what is going to happen if or when we leave the European Union. The only certainty is the uncertainty has had a dampening affect on the housing market with house price growth at its lowest level for years and transactional levels down across the country with the exception of Wales.
We’ve seen it before, in times of uncertainty, a lot of people just bunker in, sit tight and do nothing. But is it really that bad a time to sell or buy a property? Not in my opinion and as I write this article, we have just tied up our fifth property sale this week and it is only Wednesday!
Some markets have levelled out
I accept there are differing market conditions across the country, but here in the North West of England the market remains extremely buoyant, showing an annual house price increase average of 1.3%
The latest government data, published today for the period to the end of August 2019 shows that In England on average, house prices have risen by 0.8% since July 2019. The annual price rise of 1.1% takes the average property value to £251,233.
The regional data for England indicates that:
- the North East experienced the greatest monthly price rise, up by 3.1%
- London saw the most significant monthly price fall, down by 1.3%
- the North East experienced the greatest annual price rise, up by 3.3%
- London saw the largest annual price fall, down by 1.4%
If I had a pound for every time somebody asked me what was going to happen to house prices after Brexit I would be sitting on a beach in the Bahamas somewhere, similarly I have had a significant number of sellers in particular saying they will wait and see what happens after Brexit. However, and I can only speak for here in the North West where we know the market is still good, there is a real case for savvy sellers to be selling now and not waiting for Brexit.
Selling now can be a “win win” situation
At the moment stock levels are incredibly low and yet we are seeing more applicants registering and looking for properties in the area. So, applying the basic economic principles of supply and demand, with the limited choice of housing stock available, a nice well priced property will currently attract considerable interest and therefore is more likely to achieve a premium price in a short space of time.
It can be a win win situation for both sellers and buyers. Buyers with a bit of foresight have their eyes fixed on the future and know that over a medium to longer term period they will benefit from any capital appreciation of their property and be able to build up a good deposits to transition upwards when the time comes. At the moment they are taking advantage and benefiting from the superb mortgage rates and products currently available.
Gazing into my crystal ball
Whilst I don’t have a crystal ball to predict the future – sadly! There are two likely scenarios post Brexit. Firstly after all what has gone before, there could be an outpouring of relief and a real feel good factor which will give the housing market a boost and cause a spike in activity, bringing more properties to the market and house prices starting to rise again, which may cause some alarm amongst buyers.
Also from a sellers perspective, putting your house on the market now, means it will stand out in a relatively deserted market place, however if you wait until the dust starts to settle post Brexit, you may suddenly not be alone and find yourself competing with your next door neighbour, one across the road and two round the corner on the next road, which could make it much harder to sell for the best price possible and you may end up having to reduce your asking price and sell at a figure much lower than you hoped.
Obviously I am not an economist, however I have been an estate agent for over 25 years and worked in the aftermath of a recession and bull markets, hence why I am suggesting that despite the constant negative press headlines and uncertainty selling now might not be such a bad idea.
If you have any concerns or questions about Brexit and the future of the housing market, why not call me on 0161 428 3663 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Better still why not pop into our High Street office in the centre of Cheadle for a chat and a coffee!