It’s been a long cold winter and the unexpected heat wave of last week was very welcome indeed. Much like the weather, the UK property market has seen a cold snap which rolled in with the dark clouds of the Brexit vote and has persisted pretty much ever since.
There is no denying that Brexit brought with it a large degree of market uncertainty. Foreign interest and investment dried up, and many sellers decided to ‘wait and see’ before listing their home for sale. As a result, stock levels dwindled and while lower stock levels often mean higher prices paid, buyers also remained on the fence, unwilling to commit such a large sum of money in the face of a potential market crash.
The media was rife with prophecies of a property market Armageddon which caused further panic and soon enough, industry reports started to show a decline in the rate of price growth which then continued for month after month. But as is often the case, the storm rarely lives up to the hype of the forecast and many buyers and sellers are starting to poke their head out of the door and realise that the outlook is a lot brighter than they were led to believe. While the rate of house price growth has been in decline on a monthly basis, the decline has been very marginal, often less half a percent, with prices still climbing when compared to this time last year.
As we move further from the Brexit vote and closer to an exit from the EU, the market is building momentum as both buyer and seller interest returns to the market.
Of course, the varied nature of the UK market means that more inflated areas, such as London, are seeing a much slower recovery and others have remained unfazed. That said, the latest market insight from TwentyCI has found that property exchanges are up 8% on last year, with over 100,000 more properties listed on the market in 2018 than the same time in 2017, with London also seeing an 8% uplift in sales despite prices still trailing 4% year on year.
So, a seasonally inspired buoyancy has returned to the market where buyer and seller activity is concerned and as a result, it would seem prices are also shaking off the winter chill to once again increase positively. The latest Halifax House Price Index recorded a 1.5% monthly increase in house prices, which is a monumental increase given previous market trends and yet more proof that spring has sprung for the UK property market.
For those still unsure as to whether now is the time to sell, test the water. Value your house realistically, not emotionally and opt with an agent that offers a pay only when sold option. You might well be surprised by the health of the market and how quickly you find a buyer at the right price.