Before diving straight into forecasting what is ahead its obviously important to remember what is behind us. 2019 was another relatively flat year with the ongoing uncertainty of the dreaded B Word…Brexit! Yes, the first two quarters of 2019 did see a slight gain in prices, however, this was pretty much wiped out by the end of Q3 where we saw a 0.8% fall. I definitely think the B-word and a possible election on the horizon certainly impacted on this.
Most Buyers and Sellers unless they had to, were waiting to see what would happen, looking for that bit of certainty before they show their hand. This standoff has definitely contributed to a severe lack of stock across PCL. Towards the end of the third quarter/ start of the last, there were 14% fewer homes on the open market when compared with the same period in 2018. New instructions entering the final quarter of 2019 fell by around 12% which only further added to the lack of choice in the market for the active buyers in the market (Source of Figures/Statistics in this article is LonRes).
Brexit is finally happening
Well, the wait is over, apparently, Brexit does indeed mean Brexit and it seems we are now leaving the European Union under a Conservative government led by our favourite ex ‘Have I got news for you participant’. This new-found certainty is bound to be positive for the property market. Homeowners, buyers and investors will surely look to the UK as showing signs of greater stability which they haven’t seen since as far back as 2016.
It’s hard to say how long this bounce of certainty will last as there are many more conversations and deals to be discussed with our European friends before a Trade deal is reached ‘hopefully’ by December 2020. As we close in on the end of 2020 I would expect activity in the market to slow considerably once the finer details of a trade deal are bashed out.
What to expect in 2020?
As we start 2020 Foreign buyers and indeed any Vendors will certainly have a close eye on the potential Stamp duty hike planned by the Tories on non-UK residents. The policy was first highlighted back in November pre-election and stated at the time that Foreigners buying properties in England will be forced to pay 3% more in stamp duty than UK residents.
The question is will this come in to force? And if so when? Foreign buyers may dive into the market now before any new legislation comes into force and with the relatively weak pound still in place, we could see a spike in transactions over the next few months.
Have a great 2020.
XANDER PRIMEPrevious Article Next Article