Election outcome will affect the property market


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The outcome of the General Election heralds good news for many local homeowners and potentially buyers too.

The property market here in East Devon has been pretty buoyant all year but in the final weeks of the run-up to the election, there was undoubtedly a slight cooling-off in demand. For owners and buyers of £2million-plus properties, we are pleased that the spectre of a mansion tax and increase in income tax has been avoided ? It may have seemed, to some, that wealthy homeowners were an obvious target but the prospect of its introduction undoubtedly caused many potential sellers and buyers to ‘wait and see’. Clearly, there aren’t as many such properties here in Devon but people looking to relocate from London or the Home Counties can now plan ahead with more confidence. But it’s not just wealthy homeowners who can count their blessings. The post election feel-good factor could have a profound effect across the whole spectrum of the local property market, especially in the coming months, as we expect to see a marked increase in out-of-area, local and regional buyer enquiries, not only in the higher price bands but across all price ranges.

Undoubtedly, this will be balanced by an increased supply of fresh property to the market and, as ever, it will be those who act early to changes in the market who are likely to benefit the most. You can certainly expect to see prices rise but with asking prices of much pre-election stock already ahead of the curve don’t be surprised to see some sizable price reductions as sellers match their prices to new stock and to buyers’ true purchasing capability and to lenders’ and surveyors’ realistic estimate of values. Not every sector of the market finds its level at the same time and it may take several months, particularly in the rural areas or away from the established property hot spots, for prices of some properties to establish where they truly sit now, in relation to their peak. The fastest properties to find their level will, almost certainly, be in the Buy-to-Let sector, where those landlords and would-be investors who may have feared the prospect of rent-capping and three year tenancies, will now be keen to open their cheque books, unlock their pension pots or take advantage of exceptional Buy to-Let mortgage deals and build their portfolios.

On a wider note, the Conservatives’ plans to further extend help to buyers could create a problem in itself, fuelling demand and therefore prices. So, now that the election is out of the way, the new government needs to ensure that more houses are built and to make moves to get more homes built on already identified ‘brownfield’ sites.

Wilkinson Grant’s advice to those who have been thinking about selling, but awaiting the outcome of the election, is to make a move now and beat the rush. It is more important than ever, particularly if you are both selling and buying, to speak to an agent who you can trust, has the knowledge of the market and the experience to help you achieve the best result. Our large team of property experts and advisers -including our specialist Buy to Let team; Mortgage advisers and Permitted Development consultants - are best-placed to help. With our unique, proven, successful marketing techniques and years of negotiating experience, we expecting a busy few months ahead. If you are thinking of selling or if you are looking to buy, call in to an office for a coffee and chat or ring Wilkinson Grant on 01392 427500.