Brexit is responsible for a great deal of misery, not least in the property market.
Vast numbers of people who have a desire or need to move are reluctant to make big buying decisions while we are beset by the uncertainty that Brexit has brought. As a result there’s a shortage of stock in all sectors, so even those who are pushing on through despite the Brexit drama are having to work hard to find what they want.
The problem with the seemingly endless wait for political issues to resolve themselves is that life can rarely be put on hold. Three years is a long time in life – children arrive and start growing up, jobs change, relationships move on, lifestyles adapt to new ages. For some, moving is non-essential, but for those whose lives aren’t static, waiting is a painful process.
So why shouldn’t you wait any longer? James Greenwood of Stacks Property Search explains:
1. On the face of it, the market looks thin with a seemingly limited choice of property available, but if you look hard and are determined you’ll find the right property, and you should be able to negotiate a good deal, especially as some vendors are determined to make a sale before Brexit happens, so you can put the boot in on price. The advantage is that you shouldn’t have too much competition.
2. Prices have remained relatively stable, so it’s an excellent time to both buy and sell. An unpredictable market with big price moves in either direction makes moving tricky, this is an excellent opportunity to transact without having to contend with difficult fluctuations.
3. Interest rates are at an all-time low, so there’s really only one way for them to change, and that’s up! While we don’t expect any dramatic rises in the short term, it’s sensible not to overstretch yourself, and to fix at a good rate if you can. Great fixed deals are available, and as long as you build in plenty of contingency, it’s a good time to obtain finance. Current levels of Stamp Duty are, in our opinion, here to stay, so don’t hold your breath waiting for any improvements.
4. There will always be something to prevent you buying and selling, we have had over ten years of political and economic uncertainty, but if you wait for a perfect blue sky, you could wait for ever, there’s always something around the corner. But not making a move that is required has a big impact on personal and family life and can cause tensions and unhappiness. It’s better to take the bull by the horns, make the move, and enjoy getting on with your new life in your new home.
5. The costs of moving continue to rise, and that’s a trend that’s unlikely to change. The sooner you do it, the lower the costs are likely to be.
6. By not moving, you are potentially restricting your life choices whether they’re about jobs, schools, partners, or lifestyle. Don’t put your life on hold. There are numerous examples of people who haven’t waited, they’ve taken a deep breath and got on with it. We can honestly say that of the many people we have helped move over the course of the last three years, none have regretted it.
We’ve helped people move out of London. While others have been waiting to sell at the top of the market, those who have moved out of the capital have settled children into schools, made new friends, and started enjoying their new lives, feeling the financial advantage of trading into the country market.
Downsizers have started to enjoy the benefits of the freedom that downsizing brings, whether that’s financial or practical, allowing them to help offspring with their own purchases, lock up and leave and travel, move nearer families and start enjoying grandchildren, and generally enjoy their lives unburdened by excess property.
Second home buyers have enjoyed several years of high demand from those seeking UK holiday rentals. The number of UK residents taking holidays at home is rising steadily – factors such as very weak Sterling, better summers, and uncertainty about the changing face of European travel are all very relevant.
Returning expats have found themselves in an enviable position due to the drop in Sterling. In particular, buyers who are paid in Dollars have been patting themselves on the back.
Buy to let investors have been able to find excellent bargains in the new build sector, and rents have been buoyant. We expect to see further rises in rents.
Whether we wind up with a hard Brexit, a soft one, or none at all, we are unlikely to see any dramatic effect on the property market. In either of the first two scenarios activity is likely to increase, but big fluctuations in price are unlikely, so there really is no sensible reason to wait.”