Chris Burton, Director at Grosvenor
As the UK says goodbye to one PM and welcomes another, Chris Burton, Director at Grosvenor, covers a different type of PM – the property market – and explains why, despite constant media and industry speculation, Surrey’s buoyant property market is here for the long haul.
Talk about blink and you’ll miss it. You don’t really need to be into politics to know that the last two weeks has been nail-biting.
And whilst the constant twists and turns have been incredibly compelling, there is a downside to watching the unfolding of a political drama that hinges around the economy – and that’s the fact that it impacts upon each and every one of us.
As an estate agent, it’s a double whammy. Firstly, there’s the fact that interest rate rises and soaring inflation has an impact on us all at a personal level. Secondly, as a property professional – and given how mortgage rates have also been increasing – the current climate is leaving many people, our clients included, feeling somewhat uncertain.
Let’s leave calming the markets to Rishi Sunak and his new team. However, in the meantime, I shall attempt to calm the Elmbridge property market with these three points.
1. Be present
There’s little point in dwelling on the past. In fact, it’s probably wise to accept that the days of ultra-low borrowing costs are probably behind us now. Yet, with a glass half full perspective, at least we can say that many people benefitted from inexpensive credit for over a decade. Likewise, the future hasn’t happened yet, so although we should always have one eye on what’s down the road, we really must focus on what’s happening right now. According to The Negotiator magazine only this week, new instructions jumped nearly 10 per cent despite the political and financial chaos. This is exactly what Grosvenor is experiencing, too. In fact, instructions at this stage of the year are up by 23 per cent at my office alone, and this is in a local market that is perceived to be short on the supply of new stock. I’m pretty certain that being a calm, reassuring and experienced presence in our local marketplace is what leads us to being retained by more and more clients. So, to echo our Managing Director’s viewpoint in his last article, our overarching message is to keep calm and carry on.
2. Everything’s always changing
For those who remember the financial crash of 2008, it seemed like we’d never get out of what felt like the blackest of economic holes. And yet we did. Even if we go back to the beginning of 2020, when the man who now has the top job ploughed billions into the furlough scheme, there was a general sense that the economy wouldn’t bounce back for years. Again, it did; within only a matter of months there were signs of growth. Yes, the UK faces a veritable onslaught of economic headwinds, but mortgage rates will calm down. We’re currently in the eye of the storm. Once it has passed things will change once again – and I expect this to happen swifter than many people are expecting.
3. Motivations to move
Even when markets are in flux, mortgage rates are rising and we see three prime ministers in as many months, people always have to move. In fact, there are many constant drivers for buying and selling property that sit well outside of market forces. These might include a growing family’s need to upsize, an elderly couple’s desire to downsize, a job taken in another part of the UK, which necessitates the need to move, or the passing away of a homeowner. These things don’t simply stop, which means that demand for properties at every end of the spectrum will always remain.
During this uncertain time, make certain you get property advice from Surrey estate agents you can trust. Contact the Grosvenor team to discuss any of the points raised here or arrange a valuation of your property on any of the numbers below.