With the time taken to sell a house being the fastest ever recorded, the British housing market proves this May how little it actually cares about the EU referendum.
Online property portal Rightmove recently published its monthly House Price Index which revealed an asking price index of 0.8% in May. This leads to a new average house price of £310,471.
The only area in all of England and Wales that notices a monthly slowdown in property price rises was Greater London with a decline of 0.2%.
Furthermore, the report explained that now is the perfect time to sell. The average period for as property to be bought is at 57 days, the lowest level since 2010. The low rate is due to a significant lack of supply in the market, which has 5.3% fewer new properties released to the market than one year ago.
The shortage has been aggravated by the increase in investors wanting to buy in the first quarter of the year before the new stamp duty regulations come into play.
Rightmove’s director, Miles Shipside, explained: “With today’s tighter lending criteria, marking a property as sold before you’re certain that the buyer has the means to pay for it could mean missing out on other more suitable purchasers. It takes time to check that a prospective buyer can get a mortgage, and ensure that all other buyers in the chain are also in a position to proceed. In spite of these extra delays and necessary diligence, the length of time to sell is the lowest we’ve ever measured. However, this does not mean that sellers can be over-ambitious on their asking prices, as buyers’ affordability is increasingly stretched and they’re shopping around so their budgets go further. If you set too high a
price your property can become stale and be ignored by suspicious buyers even if later reduced to a more sensible figure. Given that housing markets dislike uncertainty, which could become a reality in the event of a Brexit vote, any dampening of buyer activity might mean that more realistic pricing would be an even more critical factor to achieve
Two agents also shared their views on the current market. One of the id Rupert Briggs from the Personal Agent in Surrey. He shared his opinion saying: “The market is still very strong in our areas and we have more buyers than sellers. The market is definitely a lot more price sensitive, and properties need to be marketed at the correct price to achieve a good level of interest. There is a little uncertainty regarding Brexit but in general it has not affected the market in our areas.”
Kai Logan of Bradleys estate Agents in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall agreed by stating:“Activity in the marketplace remains strong with figures on instructions, viewing and offers all very positive. There appears to be a slight hesitancy with buyers committing to a purchase, particularly on higher priced properties. We expect to see heightened sales activity following the EU referendum when people know the outcome, regardless of the result.”