Advice for post-Brexit property buyers
"Before the referendum it was agreed by many that price growth was slowing."
Uncertainty has been the enemy of those wanting to buy and sell property in 2016.
The lead up to the EU referendum was a quiet time in the UK property market as potential buyers and sellers sat on their hands waiting for the decision. Buyers have had more reasons than ever before to procrastinate but you cannot hold back demand forever, and there is evidence that demand is beginning to overspill the dam of indecision.
While the future of the post-referendum UK is far from certain, every day brings a little more certainty. We now have lower interest rates, and we know that the stock market is more robust than many anticipated. House builders that were initially adversely affected by uncertainty about the economy have started to regain ground.
In our view, if you can be certain in an uncertain world, you can take advantage of the situation. A collapse in property prices is not on the cards – Mark Carney has taken care of that. Equally there is no expectation of any great increase in prices. Before the referendum it was agreed by many that price growth was slowing. At Stacks we held the belief that prices were overvalued from 3%-12%.
Our expectation is that, depending on the level of growth that different regions have experienced in recent years, we will see some dampening of prices.
As a buyer, you can take advantage of this non-volatile market. Our advice to buyers is:
• Explore finance options early, avoid high levels of debt and don’t over-borrow.
• If you can be a chain-free buyer you will be in a very strong position
• Don’t overpay, there will be good opportunities for negotiation
• Don’t be seduced by ‘fire sales’ – as always, don’t buy anything that you wouldn’t buy if it wasn’t cheap!
• Buy sensibly for the long term. Short term property moves rarely make financial sense.
• Finally, if you’ve been putting off a decision to move for months, now is the time to get active. Take advantage of a climate of opportunity, but, as always, be obsessive about your due diligence.
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