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July Market Update – our views on Brexit

Posted: July 2016

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With Brexit being the hot topic at the moment, below are our observations, views and predictions from the SP Property Buying Team.

Pent up demand

In the run up to Brexit, there was a lot of pent-up demand from buyers. This hasn’t disappeared, many are simply delaying for a few months to let the dust settle.

Unmotivated sellers withdrawn from the market

Any unmotivated sellers have withdrawn their properties from the sales market. We are seeing some great properties (openly and discreetly) for sale by genuinely motivated sellers, who either need to sell, or they have taken the decision that now is the right time to move on. In all cases there is a genuine commitment to selling.

Our short term view

We believe that as we enter Autumn, a lot of the paused buyers will return to the market, and so will the less motivated sellers. At that point, opportunities to negotiate might not be as prevalent as sellers are likely to hold more firm as sentiment improves, plus there will be greater competition.

Our longer term view

With the possible exception of certain large scale new developments, we don’t believe that the London property market is exposed to a big correction. The cause for soft prices is currently due to uncertainty, rather than London losing its appeal as a relatively safe long term investment or great place to live and spend time in. In previous downturns London has proven itself to be resilient and we think that shouldn’t be underestimated.

Will stamp duty be reduced?

The SDLT increases have caused significantly lower transactions numbers, especially in the £5m+ price brackets. There are talks that the SDLT may be reviewed but we haven’t seen any actual indication that this may happen.

Participants in the current market

Some clients are choosing to make the most of upsizing in a softer market, as the potential saving on their new home will be larger than any discount they may accept on the property they’re selling. Others are venturing onto the property ladder for the first time or adding to an existing portfolio.

As well as finding opportunities, the key advice we’re providing is whether the property genuinely represents good value for money, or whether the ‘discount’ is coming from a high headline asking price.

Of our clients who are selling, we are advising them on all aspects of the sale, including which selling agents to appoint, the most appropriate marketing strategy and all negotiations, plus overseeing the sale process. With the emergence of more chains, this is becoming quite a key part of any sale.