Regardless of which way you voted last Thursday, for months and from both sides of the fence, we have been warned of a house price drop if we made the ‘wrong decision’. As we know, Britain was divided but Brexit just edged it on a historic night for our nation. So where does that leave us now?
It’s no secret nor a surprise that the property industry was pretty unanimously pegged in the ‘Remain’ camp. Understandably so, because if there’s one thing that the property and the financial markets dislike most, it’s uncertainty.
Well here we are.
Just hours after the announcement on Friday morning, Prime Minster David Cameron issued his resignation speech and told the nation he’ll be gone by October. Losing a Prime Minister is more than enough alone to give the property market a wobble. Add to that the likelihood of a second referendum for Scotland, a possible General Election before the year is out and, dare I say it, the prospect of Donald Trump becoming President of the United States, not to mention the impact on our economy following our exit from the EU, then these are indeed uncertain times.
Naturally, this will mean a slowdown, albeit a temporary one. London saw a drop in prices leading up to the referendum and this is likely to continue nationally in the coming months.
So, not the best news for the property industry, but in truth, probably not as bad as some of the scaremongering that you’ve likely had thrown at you recently suggests. Hopefully, by the time you’re reading this, your Social Media timelines won’t be quite as jam packed with comments, quotes and cartoons from your friends-turned-politicians, berating you and everyone else from their digital soapboxes.
There are uncertain times ahead – that’s a fact. But another fact is that people still need houses. Regardless of the outcome with any of the above, Britain still needs homes. One positive to come out of these temporarily trying times, is the elimination of the time wasters, the tyre kickers – the people who say all the right words but ultimately never act on them.
As well as buyers who need to find a property, there are also the vendors who need to sell-up too. Growing families, separations, relocations, a surplus inheritance, the list of reasons goes on.
So there is still a buoyant property market. But the uncertainties that surround it make for more flaky transactions. Sellers and buyers are likely to be more tentative, leading to longwinded and nervous negotiations. Opportunistic buyers will try to exaggerate the scaremongering in an effort to secure themselves the best deal and, sadly, as with any quieter market there comes an increase in stories of price drops from a buyer on the eleventh hour of a deal.
Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, one sensible way to eliminate potential skulduggery or hesitant transactions is to look to property auctions. This is a market that has evolved significantly from its days of selling tinned up streets in Lancashire. Auctions rooms these days are filled with a vibrant mix of landlords, developers, owner-occupiers and even first-time buyers, and good quality family homes successfully selling under the hammer are now a common sight.
So where is the advantage?
To put it simply, there is no ‘under-offer’ period. The property goes straight from ‘For Sale’ to ‘Sold’. A buyer is responsible for doing all their due-diligence prior to making a bid and, on the fall of the gavel, the deal is done. No fall-throughs; no re-negotiating; no last minute moving of the goalposts from buyer or seller. It’s a done deal. Just like that.
There is no denying the negative impact that Brexit will have on the property market – at least in the short term, but if you’re still in the game then auction could offer you certainty in these uncertain times.
Andy Thompson, Auction Consultant
0161 443 4740 / 07530 704234