With the Brexit deadline of 29 March 2019 fast approaching, the whole of the UK is still looking for answers and certainty. One question we are being asked - how stable is the property market?
Recent media coverage seems to follow a similar theme stating house prices are falling, lenders are unwilling to lend or raising interest rates; the London market has come to a standstill and that the uncertainty of Brexit has caused the market to become stagnant or reaching its breaking point.
This is the BakerLaw reality check on the market.
Are we still getting new instructions?
Yes, is the simple answer. The number of new instructions BakerLaw receive on a month by month basis is steady and has been since Brexit started. We continue to receive instructions on properties in Manchester, Devon, Suffolk as well as (more locally) Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey, since the start of 2019.
The usual influences on instructions we receive continue. School holidays and festive periods are a prime example of when the housing market slows down slightly. Christmas caused a dip in new instructions, but this was expected. No-one wants to deal with buying or selling a house through the Christmas period if they don’t have to. Once Christmas was over, we again saw an increase in the number of new instructions. With the Easter school holidays coming up we expect to see less people viewing properties, agreeing sales, instructing solicitors in those two weeks. At the end of the Easter break however, this will again pick up.
How are house prices looking?
BakerLaw has seen a slight decline in house prices. However, this is not the steep decline portrayed by the media. There is also something to be said for home owners deciding to market their houses at a reasonable price, in order to achieve a sale quickly and before the Brexit deadline.
House prices dropped more steeply and more quickly in 2008 when the UK was hit by the economic crisis. Since the UK voted to leave, the property market has seen its usual falls and increases in prices but nothing to suggest a ‘crash’ is imminent.
One way to hinder a housing market crash, is to carry on as normal and this seems to be what our clients are not only telling us but doing. Take Brexit out of the equation.
This article is not a definitive statement of the law. It is designed as a free update on the law at the time of publishing. It is not a substitute for legal advice on specific facts and circumstances. BakerLaw LLP and/or the writer accepts no liability or responsibility for reliance on this article and recommends that you seek independent legal advice on your specific circumstances prior to taking any steps.