With Distance comes Perspective

Date Published 01 June 2017


In just over a week the 'E' word will be one that can be consigned to the back of our minds for what we can only hope will be, this time, a good number of years. Whatever the result may be, the world continues to turn, and as we collectively wake from the slumber inducing buzzword fest of another 'E' campaign, we find ourselves smack in the middle of what usually is the busiest time of year for buying and selling property.

Understandably perhaps, with the prospect of Brexit and its attendant short term financial challenges, coupled with changes to SDLT over the last couple of years, this year's lead into the busy summer period has been unseasonably quiet. However, clients with the right property to sell and an appetite to sell at a sensible price have found that there are buyers out there ready to step up. In fact we've had very recent experience of properties that had tested the market at the peak in 2014 and have had recent offers only 2% below the peak price, in a market widely reported to be anywhere between 5-15% down.

When the SDLT changes were made in April 2016, swiftly followed by the result of the referendum in June 2016, more often than not viewings ended with a crumpled copy of the latest Evening Standard/Daily Mail article being wafted under our nose claiming prices needed to be discounted by 40% overnight. In a local market with very few clients who could be described as ‘distressed' sellers, clearly this was never going to wash, and draw-bridges were drawn, shutters closed and buyers ignored.

With distance comes perspective, and coming up to Summer 2017 viewings are now, thankfully, free of newspaper articles being waved around. The only remaining obstacle to achieving a good price is time itself - with private schools in the area closing for the holidays after the first week of July, the are good buyers around, but not for a great deal longer.