The months of July and August are traditionally a time when the property market draws breath and activity slows. The summer of 2019 has been no exception. The tail end of Q3 and September is the time when the market gathers renewed momentum and acts as a signal to those those buyers keen to be in a new place by Christmas.
2019 has actually been a reasonable year in terms of the volume of completed sales. It is fair to say that we’re not breaking any records, but if we compare like-for-like months in 2018 and indeed 2017, then sales for us in the SN8, SN9 and RG17 area have been relatively robust. For good reason the UK market over the last ten plus years has been more sedate and hasn’t reached the same the dizzying speed of sales that dominated the market for the best part of a decade from 1997 to 2007/2008.
Prices appear to be more or less the same as they were at the start of the year. However, stock levels are still low in most areas (particularly the range of £300,000-£600,000) and the number of viewings is also still at a low level. The internet, which can showcase a property with every possible stat, angle and view, also has its drawbacks and can have the opposite effect by having too much information on offer, which can then deter viewings.
In the estate agency industry, it is a recognised statistic that one in three agreed sales fall by the wayside for one reason or another. I think it might now be closer to one in five, which may also be an indication of how seriously buyers take buying a home. They are more considered and in my opinion are far more likely to buy with their heads than their hearts these days, not least as the cost of a physical move is a huge consideration.
I suspect like many others, I have tried really hard to ignore the extraordinary Westminster bubble and instead have concentrated on the wonderful summer of sport that we have enjoyed. Unfortunately though, with the plethora of media outlets (good and bad) and the 24/7 coverage that is the modern world, it simply can’t be ignored. When the date for Brexit was pushed back to October 31, this curiously prompted a more upbeat mood within the market; a sense that buyers and sellers alike were collectively throwing up their hands and sighing as if to say “we’re fed up with this and we want to get on with our plans to move”. As I write this, the main political parties are preparing for conference season. The pantomime season is also not far away and it seems likely that Westminster’s production this year could well see an extended run, one way or another….
With the above in mind – and given that the property market is cyclical and that bricks and mortar is considered a fair investment – sellers and buyers generally appear to be philosophical and are prepared to enter negotiations in the hope of finding a sensibly priced onwards property. For the right place they are prepared to do a deal, then hunker down and ride out the current political drama.
Brearley & Rich
If you would like any further property buying tips or home sales advice please feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01672 514820