Brexit is looming and it’s all we can talk about. This is no surprise as, whatever camp you happen to be in, one fact is the same; nobody really knows what it’s outcome will be. This is raising many questions and fostering a lot of caution in virtually every market that operates from the UK and for many across the globe; the UK property market is no different. One of the most pressing questions around Brexit and the property market is this; when on Earth is the best time to sell, before or after? Selling your home is a complex and lengthy task already, without worrying about the implications of Britain’s exit from the EU. Through this article, we hope to put your mind at ease and help you to make the right decision for you as regards selling your property.
As things currently stand, 11pm on March the 29th, 2019 will mark the end of Britain’s EU membership. This is set to happen regardless of the status of the deal that has been agreed upon (or not). However, this does not signal a sudden change in a swathe of rules, accesses and legislations, rather there is set to be a transition period of around 2 years, during which the UK will be weaned off of the laws and benefits in place under EU membership. We do not yet know how post Brexit legislation will affect the buying and selling of property, but what we do know is that any new rules will not come crashing down on us all at once. So, if this a concern for you, or if you are panicking about getting your house sold before the March deadline, then know that you can relax a little, there will be no drastic procedure changes coming imminently and remember that apart from the requirement of an Energy Performance Certificate to market your home, the process has little changed in decades.
It's all Relative
This is something to consider if you are selling your primary home, possibly you are looking to up or downsize, move to a new location or simply fancy a change. Whatever happens to the value of your current home, know that the same adjustment will befall your desired purchase. What we mean is, if, for example, if the value of your home were to change after Brexit, so would the value of your new home. It’s all relative. The leap or fall in value will be pretty much the same, you simply have to evaluate the risk in the difference between each property. If you are buying using a mortgage, your lender will provide you with detailed information on what could happen if interest rates change, so you can make the right decision for you based upon your affordability.
Caution on Both Sides
The biggest issue with Brexit across most businesses, is the uncertainty. The best we can do is to make educated projections about what might happen after the change. This has spawned a general air of caution in the property world. Many vendors, certainly in this area, are holding off selling until they have more answers about what the changes might be; potential interest rate hikes, for example. Essentially, Brexit has already changed the market as the caution is already being taken, and it is likely to continue after March 29th. You may want to wait until you have more knowledge about what will change post Brexit, or you might want to risk not getting as good a deal by selling before. The fact is, with the changes coming in gradually over the next 24 months, risk and caution are going to be regular considerations within the property market; this is likely to be the case both before and after the deadline.
It’s all about Timing
Getting a great property deal is, and always has been, about timing. Now is actually a pretty good time to upgrade, you can take advantage of lower interest rates, and if you are inclined to buy a new property, developers are keen to offer a bundle of incentives which may include your stamp duty being paid and a contribution to moving costs. There is also still plenty of time to utilise the government backed Help to Buy Scheme underwriting up to 20% equity of your purchase value but remember you will have to pay this back eventually. Generally, if you are on the market and receive a sensible offer on your property, make it work form you on your purchase. Yes, sometimes sellers may settle for a slightly lower price than hoped for, but when you are in a position to buy, use that to negotiate on your purchase. The percentage changes may be the same on both properties, it’s all about looking at the long term, the reason behind your move and your motivation. Property value in the UK over the long term has always risen, so focus more on your needs for you and your family and what is affordable, don’t be swayed by short term changes in the market if you’re making a long-term decision.
Properties always Sell in the UK
If your worry is that your property will not sell at all, then know this; property will always sell in the UK. Whatever the Brexit result, our current housing landscape remains the same; there is demand. The UK does not currently have enough residential property for the population (which is a whole other blog post), so there will always be a market for your property; it will sell eventually. Often, a new instruction will sell in the first 4-6 weeks of being on the market if it is priced correctly. There are examples even now of sales within a day of being on the market, fundamentally if there is demand, there will be sales. Interestingly, transactions have fallen in recent years across our region, but this we believe is due to fewer buyers in the buy-to-let market, poor stock levels and sellers being more cautious. This lower level has stock has indeed kept the values fairly resistant, so if stock increases but demand doesn’t, then is the time to look closer at values.
Property is Resilient to the Economy
Here, in the eye of the Brexit storm, is all seems hectic uncertain and tumultuous. But remember this, the property market is sturdy and has navigated many a rough ride. It survived the unemployment epidemic of the 80’s, the 15% interest rates of the 90’s and the financial crash that we experienced a decade ago. The property market will always regain stability, because people always need somewhere to live.
We hope that this look at the post Brexit possibilities has helped you towards a useful conclusion. Having said that, whether it is a good time for you, personally, to sell your home sooner or later is best discussed with an expert. Regardless of how much you know about Brexit’s potential impact on the sale of your home, we recommend you consult with the right estate agent. An estate agent who has their finger on the pulse of the changes in the property market as they happen over the coming years will help you towards a balanced and well researched plan of action. As we have said, changes will come in gradually, you will want someone who is there to inform you as they happen and help you to navigate the many large and small adjustments that are likely to alter the market’s behaviour as Brexit comes to fruition. If you want to talk through all your options and want advice on selling, call us at Adkins Estate Agents on 01285 239486, and we would be delighted to help you.