Brexit uncertainty hangs heavy over property market

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THE WORD with Patrick Rampton, Director at Rampton Basely, surveys the effects of the ongoing political uncertainty and the ’numpties’ on his Wandsworth market.

One month back into a new selling season we have got 21 properties under offer, five went to sealed bids, three sold off market, one was a record breaker for its type, one was taken from another agent after six months and agreed within three weeks, and one was a house that had been on with three other agents over the space of a year and had had four price drops. Whoosh!

What’s going on? Well the usual really, people are buying and selling in the borough of Wandsworth because, as we all know, it’s a great place for young(ish) families to live, and families have real reasons to move in and out of the area.

And I see this as the market’s last hurrah as families snap up the final offerings before the Christmas recess takes hold. And after that I envisage everyone will hunker down with the proverbial tin of beans, duvet and shotgun, and await the many-headed monster called Brexit Proper in March 2019.

People always want to move round here, but extraneous political events and numpties are precluding the vast majority.

So, a spot of political history first – we’ll do numpties later.

Since the high-water mark of Spring 2014, it’s been one political event after another affecting the London property market – Sept 2014, Scottish Referendum; December 2014, Stamp Duty changes; May 2015, General Election; May 2016, Brexit Referendum; April 2017, buy-to-let tax law change; May 2017, General Election; All 2018 Brexit squabbling at home and abroad…endless uncertainty about the future for the past four years and new laws designed to slow down the market.

And indeed, the future is uncertain at the time of writing.

Uncertain and possibly bleak.

Now numpties.

Put it this way, amongst a truly grisly line-up of runners and riders in the race for next Prime Minister, the current favourites are; Jezza, Bozza and Jacob – The Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse perhaps…?

I mean honestly, you couldn’t make it up, how on earth did we get here?

You mix one of those numpties (there you go) in with Brexit and you have one dark and stormy horizon.

(Quick Sidebar of Shame; Tony Blair once said, off the record, of his cabinet “If I were running a PLC with this lot were the board, we’d be bankrupt within a year”.)

And so, with a colossal smelly melange of political ineptitude, narcissistic egomania, muddle-headed legislation and enormous bad-timing we have had a pretty ghastly market over the past four years. Prices have stagnated and then receded (by about 9% in Wandsworth), and really, only transactions of familial necessity (death, debt, divorce, marriage, childbirth) have kept the market ticking over.

And so, your copper-bottomed Wandsworth house (nicely done, right orientation, well-priced, good agent) is selling very well and quickly – they know that if the Horsemen wreak havoc they’ll be able to sell it again well.

A lot of people really want to move, but the current political mayhem is preventing them.

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