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GSC Grays News

Business As Usual

To say the last ten days have been interesting would be an understatement!  The ‘exit’ vote has left political chaos and carnage in its wake and we as a nation are left to ponder and try to make sense of what impact this will have not just on our day to day future, but also our children’s futures.  Our football team’s subsequent exit from Euro 2016 has further added to the general ‘contagious mourning’ that appears to be afflicting the country at present.

There are however two constants that would appear to be still dependable: the world is still round and the sun is still rising and setting on a daily basis.  That certainty helps bring us back to basics.

It will take some time for the dust created from recent events to settle.  We have our two main political parties in complete meltdown and once we have decided who shall not only front one of the parties but also lead the government, the focus must be to secure a comfortable and palatable exit from Europe over the next two years.

It is inevitable that this immediate uncertainty will impact on the economy, and there will no doubt be a bumpy ride ahead until the rules of engagement have been firmly set.

In trying to take a straight forward common-sense-like approach to these matters, there is always the risk of a panic reaction if confidence is shattered. The barometers we acknowledge on a daily basis such as: interest rate rises, inflation, unemployment rising, inward investment slowing down, banks realigning their stance on lending and so on help us mere mortals take a reasoned and rational view of how we are faring as  a Nation.

At the moment we aren’t seeing the suggested panic reactions and dare I say that if ‘we’ (as a country) keep level heads it might not happen at all.  The emerging opportunities may help balance the turmoil and uncertainty that we are bound to experience to some extent.

Actually, pre-referendum, the property market was looking quite healthy.  Sales year on year at April were significantly increased across the market against fewer active purchasers and less available stock.  Lending in April was significantly reduced year on year by 4%, but re-mortgage activity was up 30% year on year and first time buyer activity 7% up year on year as well.  March had been a frantic month for lending with borrowers looking to beat the second property stamp duty deadline.  Across North Yorkshire, County Durham and Teesside we experienced a ripple of reduced instructions of new property sales – the south east experienced this last year and we are certainly seeing the effects of this now.  It creates more demand within the marketplace but sadly too, some rather over enthusiastic valuing from target led estate agents who end up driving the market to a standstill.

What I believe this suggests is that it creates an opportunity for decisive action.  Home owners looking to move have to make conscious decisions from several perspectives:  reason for moving, what does it cost; what are the benefits and what are the risks.  Until the external factors identified at the beginning of this article dictate otherwise, I think there a significant case for acting within a ‘normal’ market.  The cost of moving with a high street agent is minimal up until the point of exchange; lending is still very competitive and given the number of new instructions we have taken in the last week, it would suggest that it will be business as usual.  It comes back to confidence and I am sure that this will have an impact on some locations and localities more than others but our message in the meantime is to be decisive!  Jump off the fence we have all been sitting on for the last few months, make a positive decision and this may just ensure that the earth stays round (or maybe an oblate spheroid, as my eldest son would correct me) and that the sun will rise and set each day.

Chris Arundel, Head of Agency

If you are thinking of putting your property on the market, please contact one of our local agency offices to arrange your Free Market Appraisal:

 [team-member name=”Tim Leonard”]

[team-member name=”Andrea Lewis”]

[team-member name=”Lucy Osborn”]

[team-member name=”Catherine Bainbridge”]

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