I have long advocated that when a series of macro events coincide this can result in a short-term dampening of the housing market. I was therefore intrigued to note that an on-line estate agency’s update to the City variously blamed the weather, Brexit and events in Salisbury for their modest first quarter figures.
While I am inclined to agree that these factors may have had some impact on the market, we have also witnessed some notable successes in the early part of 2018, which hardly endorses the view that held by some that the housing market is in the doldrums. In fact, these successes suggest there is plenty of confidence for the right property.
Dictionary definitions of “confidence” make reference to having belief and faith in an opportunity or event. My last article for this page invited buyers and sellers to have confidence in the process of buying and selling and in the sale process.
What flows from this is also having confidence in the opportunity to own a property. That opportunity might be to buy at a certain price and modernise then sell or let for a profit. My own agency is selling a terraced house for executors that needs complete modernisation. We have already had over 20 viewings, five bids and, if you are interested, the closing date for best offers is 12 noon next Tuesday.
By contrast, the opportunity might be the acquisition of a dream family home at the right price, maybe in the right catchment area. I would venture to suggest that if your assessment of opportunity is not driven by financial gain then perhaps it is lifestyle. By way of example we have just agreed a swift sale of a fabulous five bedroom detached house. It’s in central Harrogate within walking distance of the town centre, The Stray and the railway station.
For others, the definition of opportunity might be downsizing and buying a flat or bungalow to be nearer the grandchildren and offering a much-appreciated babysitting service, as well as releasing some equity for retirement living. So in this instance the opportunity is a combination of both financial and lifestyle.
There are, of course, many other scenarios to explain the rationale of buyers and sellers alike. What is interesting as an estate agent is understanding what is sometimes very logical and seemingly illogical thinking for not proceeding with a transaction, be it sale or purchase. Rarely is a macro event quoted as a reason. There are, however, plenty of personal reasons.
Survey, valuation, change of mind all spring to mind, as well as the usual three D’s of death, divorce and debt.
So more often than not one reverts to the question of confidence and I see every reason for the strength of the Yorkshire residential property market to continue to be fuelled by a consistent appetite to live in God’s own county.
Yes, we might have had a bit of variable weather recently (but we are used to that in Yorkshire aren’t we?), but is the uncertainty regarding Brexit going to stop you buying your dream home (surely not if you can afford it) and as to the activities in Salisbury, it does seem to be akin to another episode of McMafia (but is that going to stop you from moving closer to the grandchildren?).
The title of a song by Ian Dury and The Blockheads from many years ago springs to mind: “Reasons to be Cheerful, Part 3”.
Tim Waring is a Director of Dacre Son & Hartley based in Harrogate and leads their Yorkshire Prime property team. Tel: 01423 877200, dacres.co.uk