An unprecedented situation
We can’t predict what the latest on Brexit will be by the time you read this – with a historic government defeat, a vote of no confidence in the government and shuttle diplomacy as May attempts to garner support already under our belts, who knows what else will have transpired between us composing our thoughts and you reading them.
But what is certain is that this is a first: we have never had a situation like Brexit before, and probably won’t have one like it again. The unprecedented nature of this political and economic uncertainty has magnified exponentially the difficulty of crystal-ball gazing in the property market.
A country divided
Any increase in uncertainty is likely to have an impact on the confidence on house buyers, and it is true that there has been a slowdown in the Tunbridge Wells housing market. Statistics confirm that across the UK the housing market has stagnated slightly.
National reports also suggest that there is a new North-South divide, with the previously buoyant housing market of the South cooling, and property prices in the North, Midlands and Wales expected to show the greatest increases over the next five years.
A localised market
However, there is much more local variation than the national reports suggest.
House sellers in Tunbridge Wells
There seems to be two prevailing schools of thought among house sellers in Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding area.The first camp of house sellers is very adamant that house prices will always go up in the long term, so they are sitting firm and refusing to budge on price.The second camp – generally those who really need to sell – are prepared to drop their asking price to attract buyers.
House buyers in Tunbridge Wells
On the buying side, the housing market in the Tunbridge Wells area is very fractured and localised.Houses with three to four bedrooms in certain areas – particularly family homes near schools where parents are keen to send their children – continue to be in high demand.
At the very top end of the market, things are generally moving more slowly: high-net-worth buyers tend to understand how money works and appreciate the cyclical nature of markets. They are more reluctant to buy at what they perceive to be peak values and are often voting with their wallets by waiting for a potential down turn.
The importance of local knowledge
There is no such thing as ‘the Tunbridge Wells housing market’ at the moment.Rather, we have pockets where houses continue to be in high demand and other areas where buyers are showing caution.If you’re looking to buy or sell a house in, for example, Bidborough, you may find that how quickly properties move and the prices they command are completely different from just a couple of miles away in Southborough or Tunbridge Wells.
This means local knowledge is key. It’s essential to talk to a couple of good local estate agents to get a sense of market interest and prices where you are selling or buying so that you make the best financial decision for you and your loved ones.