PROPERTY: It’s business as usual

David Lench, Group MD of Cubitt & West
David Lench, Group MD of Cubitt & West
James Taylor at his desk in his office at 116 High Street, Old Portsmouth.

Those halcyon days when pen and paper just worked!

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Despite all the doom and gloom in the national press and broadcast media over the likely impact of the EU Referendum result on the property market, the British aren’t about to fall out of love with bricks and mortar any time soon.

That’s the upbeat message from leading estate agents Cubitt & West.

‘We all know that bad news sells newspapers. So, naturally, the press has been full of scare stories about the fall of the pound and the prime central London property market taking a hit,’ says David Lench, group managing director of Cubitt & West’s parent company, Arun Estates.

‘However, in our experience, the reality is very different.’

A survey of all 44 Cubitt & West offices across Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire suggests the referendum has had little or no negative impact, he adds, with the overwhelming majority of sales still proceeding perfectly normally.

Besides, David points out, the Brexit vote has actually yielded some very positive news for the property market, particularly as far as mortgage lending is concerned.

‘A number of key lenders have reaffirmed their desire and appetite to continue lending on residential mortgages, bolstered by the Bank of England’s decision to provide some £150 billion of support.’

Indeed, he adds, several lenders have actually started reducing mortgage rates still further, with more set to follow.

‘Right now, a five-year fixed deal is coming in at under two per cent, while some lenders are offering free valuations or free legals for remortgages.’

Following on from the Brexit vote, David concedes that the property market – indeed, the entire economy – is entering uncharted territory. But he points out that history shows that property always comes through whatever challenges are thrown at it.

‘People will always need to move house and, at the end of the day, there simply aren’t enough new properties being built to meet that demand.

All in all, David concludes that with rates coming down there has arguably never been a better time to invest in bricks and mortar. ‘The message from us here at Cubitt & West is that as far as the property market is concerned, it is very much business as usual – Brexit or no Brexit.’