POST-ELECTION BRIEFING

There is some detail emerging from the new Con-Lib Government, but uncertainty remains with many as the ramifications of changes and possible changes are chewed over.

The market always suffers from reduced activity in times of uncertainty, so there will no doubt be would-be sellers delaying (again) the moment they put their house on the market; and would-be buyers who continue to hold out. But overall, activity is likely to increase on pre-election levels over the next quarter.

While we still have to wait and see which property related policies get the green light, a coalition government has the advantage of ruling out the introduction of dramatic policies. It was a good time to sell and buy before the election, and it remains so. Prices are unlikely to increase in the second half of the year, so there’s very little reason to wait to sell. If anything, as supply increases, we expect to see recent rises correcting themselves. So there’s a level playing field, and no panic or spin to get caught up in.

Low interest rates continue to encourage property transactions, and a weak pound is encouraging overseas buyers, although Euro-holders are less evident. Lack of supply continues to be the main limiting factor to a robust market, but we predict that the situation will start to ease slowly. Vendors should take advice on value, and not expect inflated prices – stories about competitive bidding and gazumping are restricted to a tiny minority of properties that are limited in supply and perfect in every respect.

However, there are some very wide discrepancies in the values that are being placed on property. Some is priced correctly and some is heavily over-priced. You want to be sure of the correct position, before proceeding to negotiations.

Purchasers should take advantage of the relative slowness of the property market to make considered decisions, comparing properties and prices, and to keep an eye on new properties coming onto the market. While there’s an undeniable shortage of property available, it’s an ever changing picture, and an extremely complex environment – but still one that should provide buyers with opportunities.

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