Nested's expert agents give their view on performance in the property market in London
With the announcement of a Brexit delay at the end of March, there was concern that uncertainty in the housing market would continue long into the summer months. These fears, however, appear to have been premature. In May there have been strong indications that homeowners are getting increasingly frustrated with waiting it out, as we’re starting to see increased activity in the market, which is good news for homeowners.
Home sales rose 13% across London in May, showing a renewed appetite from buyers. Henry Verrill, valuation team lead at Nested has seen an uplift in activity: “Spring markets have historically been the strongest in the UK and it looks as if this trend is continuing in what has been a tough start to the year.”
“The most recent market survey of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors for March paints a similar picture with increasing enquiry levels, more pronounced price rises and stabilization of instruction levels.”
Henry continues, “It is clear that the market has been influenced by the UK Government’s decision to extend the cliff edge of our exit from the EU until the end of October. It appears that many of the buyers who were looking to defer purchasing decisions until after 29 March have ploughed on regardless.”
Fraser Clark, head of progressions, agrees: “Overall, we are picking up a general theme with buyers and sellers, they are tired with ongoing political and financial uncertainty and just want to crack on with moving on.”
These claims are backed up by the amount of sellers coming to the market, with a 14% rise from April to May in new instructions. Henry explained, “It is too early to tell whether this marks a turning point in the market, but the early signs are certainly positive for the next few months.”
While there are clear signs of an improving market, is it the right time to sell? Henry believes there is a great opportunity for sellers, with buyers returning to the market: “In the short term, it looks as if now is a good time to sell; instructions whilst improved are still at historic lows, meaning that any spike in demand is likely to improve your prospects on the market.”
With a further Brexit deadline in our sights for the Autumn, Henry believes that now might be the time to make the most of increased demand: “We anticipate another softening in the market as the next deadline of 31st October hits at the end of the summer. This has the potential to erode what is usually a seasonal uplift in the market around September.”
In times of uncertainty, preparation is essential to a smooth transaction, according to Fraser Clark. As head of Nested’s progression team, who deal exclusively with the perilous period from going under offer to completion, Fraser is no stranger to the frequent issues that crop up during a sale.
“Recently we have noticed an increase in attempted price negotiations late in the process,” Fraser explains. “The majority of these are from things getting picked up in the survey. Most common issues tend to be minor damp work or a roof that needs some work. If your property needs any maintenance work, you should get this done before putting it up for sale. This in itself can help attract more buyers and speed up your sale.”
Fraser also advocates the benefit of having a good team around you. “In a tough market a good solicitor is so important. Nested’s quickest transaction in May was a speedy 29 days and this was a result of buyer using our recommended panel of solicitors and the seller being proactive.”
There’s plenty of evidence to suggest both sellers and buyers are tired of playing the waiting game while the country is in the midst of political turmoil. Now could be a good time to put your home on the market as buyers interest increases, but to remain vigilant while we anticipate further Brexit-related uncertainty in the Autumn.
Nested puts homeowners in control of their sale. Our agents provide you with smarter insights so you achieve the best price for your home on your timeframe. When you’ve found your new home, you have the power to move chain free, while we take care of your sale. Our buying agent will even negotiate up to 5% saving on your new home, so you get more home for your money.
If you’re interested in selling smarter, get in touch today. Nested.com - The modern way to move.
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