The housing market in Hampshire, West Sussex and Surrey in 2019 has obviously been affected by Brexit and all the political turmoil, however we believe this is a buying opportunity.
We have now had 3 years of severe political uncertainty, starting with the lead-up to the referendum and culminating with numerous delays since the UK was supposed to leave the EU on March 29th. All things considered, property prices in the southern counties have held out very well. One might have reasonably expected that prices would have come under pressure during these difficult times, as they have done in London, and yet we find them almost unchanged over this period. The number of transactions has taken a hit as a lot of potential sellers have decided to put their moves on hold because of the misconception that prices are down and there are no buyers around, however this is wrong. There are of course lots of people who have not been able to postpone their move and have had to carry on with their lives over the past three years (for work reasons or kids getting to school age etc.) and they have struggled to find themselves the right property because the number of houses being marketed has dropped and therefore their options have been limited. The upshot of this is that when a decent house with no blights comes onto the market and it is fairly priced, it flies out of the window, often in the first week of viewings and sometimes in a bidding competition.
Our overriding feeling is that once we get some clarification as to what is actually going to happen with Brexit, the property market in the south will be unshackled and able to move ahead, with prices rising slowly. It can be argued that it almost doesn’t matter what the end result is, as long as we get a decision, allowing everyone to move forward again with confidence.
The benefit of having someone on the ground, in the area you are hoping to buy, with good private contacts and excellent relationships with all the local estate agents, has proven to be invaluable for our clients in 2018 and 2019. If a good house becomes available at the right price, especially during quiet times, you have to be able to move very quickly. Last year 80% of the houses our clients bought were never advertised on the internet, in some cases we found them privately and in others we were informed about them very early on and our clients had their offers accepted before the agent had the time to put a brochure together.
Stacks also has a fantastic track record in making sure our client’s purchases make it all the way to Completion. We only recommend good, focused solicitors who are usually ready to exchange contracts within 5 weeks, instead of the current average 5 months and 10 days that other convayancing solicitors think is acceptable. In Q4 2018, national figures suggest that 49.2% of sales fell through (!!!), this office has had 0% fall-throughs for over 5yrs. Estate Agents know the above and that is why they like dealing with us and it ensures that our clients and their offers, are always taken very seriously in the negotiating phase.