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The state of play in the property market

Posted by Arthur Brown on September 26, 2018
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With Northern cities leading the present housing boom, what’s the current state of play in the property market?

Well, it looks good here in the North West with Manchester leading the way on property price increases. There are also more developments here than in any other part of the country, with 9000 new development plans submitted over the last 3 years in the city according to research conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research.

Is Brexit causing uncertainty?
Yes, even here in South Manchester, one of the most desirable parts of the North-West, the effect of uncertainty can be felt. Government scaremongering causes people to hold off with their plans and wait until the panic is over. Brexit is looming and no firm decisions seem to have been made. Mark Carney talks about a potential 30% drop in housing prices. But, will that happen here? No, of course not!
John Goodall, Chief Executive of buy-to-let specialist Landbay says, “Uncertainty remains in the market as we edge closer to Brexit, so it is likely to be at least a year before we arrive at the new normal.”

Re-mortgages on the rise
With the state of play in the property market, the reality is some see it as business as normal – they continue to buy homes.  There are many too, who are still looking to buy, and in fact are taking advantage of others being overly cautious.  The lending figures suggest many are re-mortgaging rather than moving at present with a 1.2% decline in mortgage lending, and a 9.2% increase in re-mortgaging for the year to August (figures from UK Finance’s household finance update).
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients says, “With many would-be buyers holding off making a decision until Brexit is resolved one way or another, lenders are battling for a relatively small pool of borrowers and are having to reduce rates accordingly.”

It’s business as usual for now…
Jeremy Leaf a North London Estate Agent commented, “Mortgage approvals for house purchase are lower compared with this time last year, which was not a particularly impressive time anyway. Clearly, the market remains fairly flat without too much movement one way or the other, which is reflected on the high street. Confidence is in short supply unless new market conditions are recognised. Having said that, we are seeing more viewings and more realism as the summer period is now behind us. It is now up to sellers to recognise that the market is unlikely to change for the better for some time.”

We see a similar picture here across the South Manchester and Cheshire region, perhaps a little healthier than in London.  Yes, it’s a slower market than in previous years, but buyers are still looking and vendors are still selling. So, whether you move now or next year I expect the picture will be fairly similar.

For help selling your home and finding the right buyer, while ensuring the very best prices, contact the team at Jameson & Partners today. Call in to see us on  The Downs in Altrincham town centre, or get in touch with us to arrange a free valuation. 

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