Whilst many of us might have understandably had quite enough of Brexit/Trump-inspired news, here is one aspect of these that is extremely reassuring in respect of the UK property market! Such tumultuous news, almost daily, with so many angles and such far-reaching political, economic and social consequences, might ordinarily cause such uncertainty as to put a dampener on the property market. People and markets generally don’t like uncertainty. And we probably live in the most uncertain times in a generation.
Yet the property market appears to have simply shrugged its shoulders, kept calm, and carried on, as if to spite the dire warnings of severe negative consequences issued by even the most respected of pundits. The exceptionis of course the prime central London market, which has dipped 6.9% since this time last year although this is more likely due to with the massive hike in SDLT last year. If anything, the lower value of sterling has attracted overseas buyers, preventing further falls, although sales volumes of £1m+ sales are nevertheless down by around 21% (Savills).
Whatever the future holds, it would seem that bricks and mortar, as ever, are the ultimate foundation of our security in the UK, and demand is predicted to continue to outstrip supply overwhelmingly for many years to come. Our current levels of GDP growth are impressive (0.7% last quarter, up from 0.6%) but are forecast to fall, with pressures on employment, inflation and ultimately interest rates. So there is only so much the market can take in terms of property values and equilibrium has to be found at some stage.
So if you are considering a move this year, right now might not be a bad time to do so – especially if you can put your property on the market ahead of the seasonal spring rush that can temporarily flood the market.
Please feel free to contact us if you’d like sincere, friendly, advice from your local property marketing experts and we’d be delighted to offer you our thoughts – you might be pleasantly surprised.
Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA
CEO – Oakfield Estate Agents