Like many I was surprised when I woke on the morning of the 24th June to discover that a majority in the UK had voted to leave the EU.
As a team at Madley we’d already been thinking through the possible effects, bearing in mind the likely sensationalism of the media response (whichever way the vote had gone).
In reality the news has made little difference to the sales we had in progress and in fact, we agreed two more sales that very Friday. It’s true that some buyers (understandably) want to wait a few weeks until the future becomes a little clearer, but many are pressing ahead with their search. Perhaps for some even the short term possibility of less competition might be a welcome relief.
I’m no better placed than anyone else to see through the current political uncertainties. However we do know something about London property, and it’s apparent that the main drivers for property demand in most areas of Central London are still in place and strong. Indeed the chancellor’s recent negative tax changes for landlords and offshore investment vehicles look set to have much more effect on London’s prime areas than the Brexit vote. We think those changes were heavy handed and since it looks likely that there will be a new chancellor in the near future we could perhaps hope for some softening of their impact.
Even here, while few investors are likely to welcome having to pay more tax and higher stamp duty, property still is the most attractive long term option for many.
I have been selling and letting central London property since the early 2000s and we started Madley in the middle of the credit crunch, so I have seen both great times and hard times in the market. Really right now it’s business as usual. We are still receiving a normal number of new tenant enquiries and agreeing new lets on a daily basis. It’s true that in some areas rental values have slipped back and competition increased, but this has been the case since the latter stages of last year and we don’t expect it much change in the coming months..
We expect the resale market to continue to move forward, perhaps at a slower pace but then this has also been true since the start of the year. There may be fewer buyers on the ground, but with fewer sellers in most areas real values seem likely to to hold or even increase. After all mortgage rates still look set to remain very low so potential buyers can save money every month by owning a property rather than renting.
Some areas of the off-plan new build market might require a little more caution. By its nature this market is more speculative and valuations in some schemes may have become a little over optimistic. However, we feel overall there remains very good value in a number of the new developments currently being marketed across London. In addition, any caution in this market could create an opportunity for new buyers entering.
Property is always a long term play. Uncertainty never helps, but at least you can be sure that we’ll continue to give you brilliant service and the best possible results, whatever your interest in the London property market. If you’re worried in any way or just want to talk about your property or your purchase or let, please get in touch.