With Brexit still an unknown and property becoming a huge political tool to capture votes at the moment, there are many opinions about what will happen next. Unsurprisingly, it can be difficult for consumers to work out what to do.
A review of monthly variations in property prices and quarterly rents shows that markets up and down the country are performing in completely different ways, even down to the property type on an individual road. The market is relatively stable, i.e. some areas are seeing low price and transaction levels, while others are more buoyant. However, low transaction levels seem likely until potential buyers understand that moving house has more to do with their own, individual circumstances and less with waiting to see what happens next in the property market.
Having said that, it’s a brave person who buys now in spite of worries about property prices crashing if we leave the EU without a deal. Other ‘unknowns’ that buyers need to take into account include potential changes to stamp duty, the bad press that Help to Buy has received about poor quality builds and premium prices being charged, or buying a leasehold property when Labour promises to ‘revolutionise’ this tenure.
Of course, some people just have to move for personal reasons, whatever the economic situation, and this may have accounted for property transactions rumbling along at 50% even during the recession. However, this doesn’t prevent the constant worry about whether it’s a good time or not to move. And one of the toughest facts facing buyers and sellers now is that all the worry and uncertainty seem likely to continue, probably not just for the next few months, but even until the next.
If you are dipping your toes into the property market in these uncertain times, the best way to reduce your concerns is to consult a good agent. An agent offering an expert team with years of experience of the vagaries of the property market and how this affects buyers and sellers, and with access to comprehensive and up-to-date data, is ideally placed to give you the best guidance available. They will be able to offer you informed advice about what is actually happening, especially at a time when the headlines hitting the market can be frightening.
It is incredibly important at the moment to be aware of how things really are in the property market. Your agent will be able to tell you how the recession affected property prices, including which ones fell most and which least. They will be able to identify for you the best developers and sites in your area, and whether Help to Buy is priced fairly. If you have concerns about possible changes to stamp duty, leasehold, or Section 21, then your agent should be able to reassure you that although these topics have been raised in the political arena, any changes will take some time to come to fruition, if, in fact, they ever actually happen.
In the meantime, if you are one of the many who need to move in spite of concerns about risk, my advice is always to worry less about what you can’t control. The most practical thing you can do to mitigate your anxieties is to expend your energy instead on making the perfect choice of roof over your head when the time is right, financially, for you.
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