As we enter the last month of the first quarter of 2019 we are still awaiting a final position on Brexit although all the noises from Teresa May suggest that our withdrawal will officially take place on March 29th. The final arrangements remain uncertain but there appears to be a growing desire to “get on with it” and remove any ongoing indecision and uncertainty that exists.
Whatever the final outcome, the sun will still rise in the East and set in the West and people will still need roofs over their heads and to go about their daily lives.
This – business as normal – viewpoint appears to be growing and supporting a reasonable sales and lettings marketplace. Whilst some people have undoubtedly delayed their plans, more and more are committing to transactions and taking advantage of continuing low mortgage interest rates.
The sales market is price sensitive and overvalued stock will not attract buyers but properties marketed to attract interest are doing so and some excellent prices are being obtained from motivated buyers, eager to move.
With home moving being such a major decision and with people staying n their homes for longer periods, the last few thousand pounds on a transaction are often less important than actually getting a deal done. It is unlikely that anyone in five, ten or fifteen years time will look back and be concerned about what the transaction cost but they will have benefitted from the move they wanted to make at the time.
There have been several reports recently showing that, once the deposit element has been found, the actual cost of home ownership has actually fallen significantly from ten years ago as we continue to enjoy low interest rates.
The lettings market remains strong and signs are that rents are starting to creep upwards based on supply and demand factors. June will see the new Tenants Fee legislation come into effect and this will make the costs of moving into rented accommodation cheaper for a tenant. This is likely to increase demand further and may have the, unintended but possibly inevitable, effect of pushing rents further.
The early weeks of the year have been reasonably consistent and active and we feel that this activity will accelerate as the year progresses and aspects such as Brexit settle down and become clearer. There is undoubtedly a level of pent up demand building which is likely to be slowly unleashed and create even more activity.
We see no reason for holding back if you are thinking of moving, in fact it is arguable that now is the best time to bring a property to market. The days are getting longer and greater confidence is growing. If you are looking to “get on with your moving plans” – talk to us and we will discuss the detail of your local market and how we can help you achieve the move you are looking for.
Chris Harper and Darren Murphy