Oliver Miles from Oliver Miles Estate Agents looks at the impact national and global events might have on a resurgent UK property market towards the end of the year.
We hear about caveat emptor – let the buyer beware – but what about caveat venditor – let the seller beware? In the property market there is a great deal for sellers to be happy about at the moment but how long this will last is anyone’s guess. Sellers should beware.
The relaxation of the Covid lockdown rules has taken the property industry by surprise – albeit a pleasant surprise. There is an exodus from urban areas to rural & seaside locations. More buyers want open space and extra room at home than they did before the lockdown. Larger houses have suddenly become more popular as buyers look for extra working space - not just for one person but also for two or more people. Multi-generational homes are also receiving more attention.
Properties that are two, three or even four hours’ travelling time from major cities such as London are increasingly popular. Buyers are swapping property in the commuter belts for larger homes farther out now that working from home is more prevalent. Why live in London when you can live in East Anglia and why live in South Dorset?
How long this unexpected result of Covid 19 will last is impossible to predict. But the bandwagon is rolling and seems to have reversed years of rural flight to urban environments.
Sellers should beware of several points. First, urban living has wonderful advantages and this outward movement may not last. Second, we don’t yet know the full impact of increased unemployment: it could well affect buyer numbers later in the year. The third point is once again Brexit. When Covid 19 has lost its front-page status in the news, the Brexit negotiations will surely fill the gap. At the same time, the US general election will be hotting up to be perhaps the most divisive and globally important in modern history.
What does this mean in practice? It means make hay while the sun shines. Through a flexible approach, help a deal to go through sooner rather than later. Right now just might turn out to be the best time in the property market!