While it is fair to say that Brexit may have depressed the UK housing market (in some areas), it has been suggested that this “slow-down” could have led to pent-up demand which will be reflected in a boost to activity in the sector next year. Land agents Aston Mead’s latest report acknowledges that any sort of political uncertainty or economic uncertainty will cause buyers to wait.
Richard Watkins (Land and Planning Director) said, “People with important and costly decisions to make tend to pause and reflect, waiting for a time when the outcome is more predictable. The ongoing machinations of the Brexit process for the last two years are no exception so it is little wonder that the property market has become increasingly subdued as time has gone on”.
“But it’s also true to say that this situation has led to an undeniable pent-up demand, especially in London and the South East, which is likely to make itself evident, once Britain leaves the European Union on the 29th of March next year.”
The Report does point out that asking prices of new stock rose by the lowest amount for that measure, for October, since 2010 (recorded by Rightmove), at 1%.
Nationwide reported that monthly sale prices stayed flat, and the annual rate of house price growth of 1.6% is the lowest rate seen for over five years.
Richard Watkins believes that it is these circumstances that could provide real opportunities for buyers looking to move in Q2 2019.
“There’s no doubt that trading conditions have been pretty sedate in the past few months. Even the traditional spike in market activity ahead of the run-up to Christmas has failed to materialise” he said.
He also pointed out that the Budget offered little for the real estate sector. “The additional 1% stamp duty land tax for non-resident buyers was lower than the 3% previously suggested, and the two-year extension to Help to Buy should assist first time buyers who want to get onto the property ladder,” he added.
“What’s more, despite the risks involved in the current challenging market conditions, we expect that come April 2019, those hoping to trade up will find that the gap in sale values and onward purchase prices will be the narrowest it has been for half a decade. So there continue to be real opportunities out there.”