…reflects on a property market affected by Brexit and uncertainty, that is showing some signs of resilience.
It has been a trying two years since the Brexit referendum. No market likes uncertainty, and the property market is no exception. It is hard to think of an event in recent memory that has fostered so much worry and confusion over such a prolonged period.
However, as we (possibly) reach the Brexit endgame, we can see some welcome signs of regeneration from opposite ends of the market.
For properties in the lower price bracket, tax changes have significantly affected professional landlords and we have sadly been selling off portfolios. However, it is an ill wind that blows no one any good because many first time buyers, benefiting from low interest rates, help-to-buy schemes and, frequently, the bank of mum and dad, have filled the vacuum created by those leaving the rental investment market.
Tax changes have also affected the top end of the market. Our Mayfair Office keeps us well-informed and tell us that the tax on foreign buyers in London has had an adverse effect and it is clear that the capital has seen a dramatic drop in property values over the past three or four years. The knock-on effect that we have seen fewer central London sellers moving here for lifestyle reasons.
However, there are now clear signs that London is on the rebound. The fall in the value of the pound and a readjustment in sellers price expectations have brought investors back into the market with force. So London sellers are once again planning their escapes, and they are starting to filter through to the middle market property sector out to us.
In fairness Brexit is not necessarily deterring all active buyers in every sector because schooling is a big priority and so parents are moving here to lock into our excellent schools in both private and state sectors. The worsening media bombardment and the parliament circus seems to have triggered a rebellion with a wave of properties now coming on the market and in the big mix, sellers are of course buyers.
Since the Severn Bridge tolls were done away with I am regularly asked if prices are rising and sales increasing. Whilst I am an optimistic person by nature and I would dearly like to see some increases but in reality there haven’t been any. So my view differs completely from those agents with Chepstow offices supposedly linked to Bristol who use this “hope carrot” as an instruction getter.
In reality those properties under £300,000 in and around Chepstow are seeing a benefit but my view is the same as our local surveyors, bridge tolls were not truly impacting on those wanting to buy houses over £300,000. I have been selling to Bristolians for well over 20 years and yes more of them are coming now but that is purely because their market values have increased dramatically over the past 3 years so they can get more for their money here.
It would be foolhardy to try and forecast how the market will react in the months ahead. We are estate agents, not clairvoyants. However, two things are certain in the post Brexit epoch, there will be excellent opportunities for both buyers and sellers, and we will be there to protect and steer our clients through this period – whatever happens to the market.