Boredom surrounding BREXIT is starting to create a positive change in the housing market as we say goodbye to 2018, says Richard Stovold from Seymours in Burpham & Merrow, Guildford.
While we may all be bored of BREXIT, we cannot ignore its influence on the property market. The uncertainty surrounding exactly what will happen on March 29 next year has undoubtedly affected the sales market in more ways than one throughout 2018.
Buyers have remained price sensitive, particularly at the higher end of the market which, here in Surrey, has experienced further decline this year. However, there are signs that the gap between vendor and purchaser expectations is narrowing as the rate of decline has slowed. We have also seen sought-after properties in key areas of the county, such as Guildford and the surrounding villages, attracting competitive bidding and, in some cases, exceeding asking prices.
The latter part of this year has also seen a peak in people registering their interest in buying, proving that the BOB (Bored of BREXIT) attitude could result in the tides changing sooner than spring 2019. Indeed, we have seen more new prospective buyers register in Q3/4 than in the same period last year.
Insecurities over BREXIT have also resulted in new listings declining somewhat as we have moved through 2018 meaning that, as pent-up demand forms, we could soon face the situation of demand outstripping supply.
The general market outlook for 2019 does, of course, depend heavily on the Brexit outcome but the good news is that, while Brexit uncertainty is intensifying - with talks due to reach some form of resolution by the time this year is over - we have reached a point where that uncertainty has a short shelf life.
Our message to homeowners who have been dissuaded from listing their home for sale while they wait for the results of BREXIT is to start putting the wheels in motion sooner rather than later to take early advantage of those prospective ‘BOB’ buyers who have already registered their interest.