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Snowdrops

Nick Churton of Mayfair Office responds to the dramatic start to the new property year and looks at the green shoots of improvement.

Like early snowdrops, property buyers have begun poking their heads above ground after a long period of slumber. In fact, in some parts of the UK, there are significant and spectacular drifts of these ‘snowdrops’ appearing. Is this because of the time of year? Partly: but more likely because we are emerging from an extended and dark period of lifelessness in the property market.

Call it the Boris or Brexit Bounce if you like, but whatever term you give it there is a definite surge in the market with markedly more interest and activity. All over the country numbers of registrations, viewings, offers and sales are up on the previous two or three years - and it’s only February.

Confidence should be the name given to the first physical brick laid in any house construction or metaphorical brick laid in the re-building of the property market. It is confidence that is driving this newfound interest, and it comes at a perfect time of the year.

There was concern that a December election would be harmful in multiple ways. Well, in the case of the property market, it was perfect. With the will-we/won’t-we Brexit issue settled a large cloud of uncertainty was lifted and those who were sitting on their hands have, post-New Year, suddenly jumped into action.

Behind this energy is several years of pent up demand. Those who could wait to make a move or who were nervous did wait. But now the waiting is over. In all sectors of the market and across all regions demand is higher than it has been for years.

This is all exciting stuff, but we should not get too carried away. In property confidence can soon give way to over-confidence, with sellers often eager to set higher asking prices. We don’t want to see all those snowdrops droop under an ill-considered layer of expectation.

So prudence and guidance are critical factors in sustaining this excellent start to 2020. As always, before embarking on selling and or buying a property, we advise seeking the wisdom and counsel of a mature and experienced local independent estate agent before you join the fray.