Autumn Leaves us Guessing

Phil Smith of Roscoe Rogers & Knight assesses the property market as we head towards autumn.

Before we know where we are, autumn will be here – for many it’s the favourite and most colourful season. For this one we have the prospect of the Brexit “fog” as I call it, being lifted and finally we may be able to see where we are going for the first time in more than two years.

This will be beneficial for our property market, which has been in the doldrums for what feels like an absolute age. In reality, half the usual number of houses have been sold since it descended and it has also been responsible for many empty shops in our local towns.

This “fog” will clear faster if our politicians give us a break from tinkering with the property sector. Reports that our new prime minister has some ideas about stamp duty changes and the opposition wants to alter rental legislation yet again, reminds us that one of the biggest threats to a stable property market is politicians and their policies. If evidence were needed of our main political parties’ indifference and lack of vision in the housing sector it is that we now have in place the sixteenth housing minister in 20 years – average time in post, fifteen months. The only ministers with any vision appear to have been those in the Exchequer who clearly see home sellers, buyers, landlords, tenants and sales and letting agents as cash cows.

Something that is also very interesting is that after several years of confusion, distortion, claim and counter claim, recent figures show that the online agents like Purple Bricks accounted for only 7.3% of all UK exchanges in the second quarter of this year. With traditional estate agents commanding 92.7% market share it seems that the house selling public clearly knows which side its bread is buttered.

Employing a gifted and experienced estate agent with a longstanding local knowledge makes the most sense for those serious about selling and wanting to achieve the best price and to be shielded from unnecessary stress. That is precisely what I offer my vendors and there is no shortage of praise from them as I consistently agree and execute sales even through these difficult and foggy times.

From a business perspective the autumn quarter is my favourite because it has been the most active for me in terms of agreeing sales for the last six years or so but I do respect that this may be a little depressing for the many “green fingered” gardeners.

Why then?… well it tends to be because many have an eye for moving before Christmas or securing their new home for the new year and the ones who don’t manage to find what they want will be back looking early in January, sadly again for the “green fingered” because that traditional Spring quarter is now set aside for holidays and not for house hunting.

With greater certainty in the market and with strong economic conditions there will be a widening choice as more property comes onto the market. With prices remaining realistic here in most cases this autumn should be the perfect time for us to find buyers and for you to be moving home.

So if you are thinking of selling, my advice is be ready to launch in early September and if you want the very best advice and proper professional service from someone who has been in town for more 30 years then please contact myself or Charlotte and we will be very pleased to help.

Phil Smith