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    The New Reality

    Autumn 2018 briefing

    The 2018 UK property market continues to struggle with BOTH buyers and sellers failing to see the opportunities out here.

    Across the country, there’s huge unsatisfied demand. 2018 should be seeing vendors accepting realistic offers, purchasers getting off the fence, and a more fluid market across the board as buyers and sellers see a stable market with good opportunities for negotiation.

    There are any number of reasons that many home-owners will continue to do nothing and stay put.

    Bu the smart money will be on those buyers and sellers who see a stable market, with good opportunities for negotiation.

    The market is thin, with a lack of stock in parts – and that is being borne out with vendors, particularly in the country, failing to appreciate that the market has changed, with an opportunity to sell and move on.

    One thing is for sure – prices are going nowhere, having dropped in London and the SE, and remaining stagnant in the West.  Those paying over the odds in the Midlands and elsewhere are, in my mind, making a mistake.

    Buyers at the upper-middle/top end of the market have just got to accept the ‘new normal’ Stamp Duty rates – and vendors are going to have to continue adjusting their prices accordingly.

    We reckon that there are over six million households living in the wrong property, many because they are anxious about moving home in these politically and economically uncertain times.

    Historically the property market stagnates temporarily as we wait for general elections, Budgets, and other major political events. But since the Hung Parliament of 2010 we have been in a permanent state of political flux, and there is no end in sight. A big question mark hangs over the May-led Government, and there will be no real resolution to the Brexit issue for several years.

    Of course, it’s not these events in themselves that stop people buying and selling; it’s the fear of the unknown, which might affect finances, jobs and property prices.

    Fear makes us more tentative.

    For those who, have a real need and/or real desire to buy, or sell and buy, our best advice is to accept that abnormal is the new normal and start the process.

    The alternative is to go on putting your life on hold for years.

    The market has been relatively stable, and there has been plenty of opportunity for good negotiation.

    Local Market Comment:

    London – ”prices have settled down and there’s little movement either up or down.”

    Country – ”while the rural market is showing little in the way of increased activity, there’s massive increase in demand for good family houses in market towns.”

    Home Counties – ”while agents are disappointed by the levels of new stock coming to the market, there’s plenty of market movement as old stock is re-priced and selling well. In the Thames Valley it seems that vendors are being less realistic and still hanging on to over optimistic views on values. It’s only a question of time before a more sensible approach to pricing is adopted by vendors.”

    Cotswolds – “There seems to be something of a lull, and a rather under-nourished band between £750,000 – £1m. Agents in the area are carrying out few appraisals, with limited stock expected for the Autumn market.”

    West Country – ”Conditions are primed for more activity. A sense of reality is settling in, more stock is coming to the market at sensible prices.”

    To discuss your plans, please contact us or speak to our local offices across the UK.

    James Greeenwood

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