PROPERTY: Even first-time buyers can benefit from better deals

Albert Zarb-Cousin, branch manager of Fry & Kent Estate Agents in Southsea looks at how the market is settling a month after Brexit.

Tuesday, 2nd August 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:29 pm
Albert Zarb-Cousin, branch manager of Fry & Kent Estate Agents in Southsea

A month or so on following Brexit, I am still being asked by clients what is happening to the local property market?

There is certainly plenty of debate and a number of differing opinions on what may, or may not happen in the long term but even more uncertainty on what is happening right now!

Even before Brexit, there were signs the property market was arriving at yet another peak with evidence of house prices slowing down particularly at the point when the new stamp duty tax was introduced on April 1.

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As with the 2006/7 market, I recall buyers saying that prices were going to fall but in reality all that happened was a natural readjustment where prices levelled off for a period of time before increasing once again. I bet those who decided not to buy at the time are kicking themselves now, given prices have risen remarkably 10 years on!

With news only this week of a marginal growth in the economy, predictions of a reduction in the BOE base rate next month and mortgage deals for buyers substantially better than six months ago, you can begin to understand why I believe there is a certain amount of stability in the current housing market despite all the doom and gloom merchants stating otherwise.

All these ingredients amount to a market so far unaffected by Brexit.

Arguably, it is still too early to call as the physical process of leaving the EU has yet to commence.

However, many UK businesses are already doing deals with our European neighbours well ahead of the government triggering Article 50 .

The introduction of a new 10-year fixed rate mortgage at only 2.39 per cent is something worth considering as long as you have a healthy deposit.

Even first-time buyers can now benefit from better deals saving around £1,300 over a two-year deal. It still makes buying a property a sound investment.

I am sure you have heard the ‘gossip stories’ of so called experts predicting that prices are going to crash. Certainly, there are some city analysts who have come up with all sorts of forecasts. I have even come across one analyst who has predicted a rise in prices!

However, I rarely hear advice has been taken from property professionals, who after all, live and breathe the business on a day to day basis. I would never give advice on how to fix a car if I know nothing about cars!

I reported last month, demand is one of the key drivers in any economy and while this demand is strong and supply still at a 10-year low, sensibly priced properties will still sell well.

At the moment there are no signs of any impending crash in house prices although I will be keeping a very close eye on the latest house-price index launched by the government a couple of months ago.

As for our Southsea market, I would still encourage sellers to sell and buyers to buy in the knowledge that bricks and mortar continues to represent a sound investment.