Alex Mackay, Managing Director of Mishon Mackay reflects on a property market affected by Brexit and uncertainty, but showing some clear signs of resilience.
However, as we (hopefully) reach the Brexit endgame, we can see some welcome signs of regeneration from opposite ends of the market.
At the lower end, tax changes have significantly affected professional landlords. However, it is an ill wind that blows no one any good. Across the UK many first time buyers, benefiting from low interest rates, help-to-buy schemes and, frequently, the bank of mum and dad, have filled the vacuum created by those leaving the rental investment market.
Tax changes have also affected the top end of the market. The tax on foreign buyers – especially in London – has had an adverse effect. The capital has seen a dramatic drop in property values over recent years with the knock-on effect that fewer central London sellers have been moving south for lifestyle reasons.
However, there are now clear signs that London is on the rebound. The fall in the value of the pound and a readjustment with sellers’ price expectations have brought investors back into the market with force. So London sellers are once again planning their escapes, and they are filtering through to the middle market property sector in areas outside the capital.
It would seem that Brexit is not necessarily deterring active buyers in all sectors, particularly on the south coast, as a great many of them are focused on some great opportunities. We understand this only too well. As a firm, we have always concentrated on the opportunities that economic, legal, personal and social changes bring for clients.
It would be foolhardy to try and forecast how the market will react in the months ahead. We are estate agents, not clairvoyants. There is still some activity from London buyers in Brighton and Hove, but nothing like three or four years ago. Two things are very certain in the post Brexit epoch: there will be excellent opportunities for both buyers and sellers with more to choose from, and we will be there to steer our clients through this period.