House prices across the South West have seen a steady rise year on year (up 7% in the South West July 2016-July 2017*). Indeed, across the UK, house prices are in general looking more positive (after suffering a fall of 0.9% after the referendum).
It certainly feels like the UK housing market is ‘shrugging off’ the concerns echoed across the wider economy. While this is a positive sign, it is also important to be mindful that the 2016 market, fresh from the Brexit ‘shockwave’ was a muted one.
That aside, we are now a good way through 2017 and the market remains robust. There are various factors which may be helping, including low Interest rates and high employment. At the same time demand for housing remains strong, only exacerbated by the shortage of available property for sale. In essence, compared to the same period around the referendum, more sellers have come to market and more buyers are buying.
Despite this, the market remains price ‘sensitive’ and the contributing factors are not entirely Brexit related. Wage growth versus cost of living is down, consumer credit is tightening, stretched affordability and with a potential rise in interest rates looming, the pace of price rises is limited. For sellers coming to the market, house prices need to be competitive.
While there is no doubt that Brexit continues to have an impact on our economy, for British house buyers at least, it seems that they are simply getting on with the matter in hand and moving – a good number of them to our part of the world.
As Nick Churton, from our Mayfair office notes, “People still like to move despite what politicians are doing or the way the country is behaving. That is because, apart from our families and ourselves, our homes are one of the most important things in our lives. And then there is the other wonderful and unique ingredient that buyers from London, the South East and many other parts of the UK have a seemingly insatiable hunger for – the West Country.”
* Source: Office for National Statistics
If you are looking to buy, sell or let your house, it’s best to speak to an expert, get an understanding of the local market and take advice on how best to price your property. Find your nearest GTH office here.