Peter Illingworth of Peter Illingworth Estate Agents takes a look at what’s important in a confusing property market.
Asked what he thought would define his premiership, Prime Minister Harold McMillan famously replied, “Events, dear boy, events”.
It is much the same with the property market. Events largely control turnover and turnover affects prices - up or down.
There are major events like world wars and global pandemics and inconvenient events like fuel and food shortages, interest rate hikes and cost of living rises. But it might surprise you to learn that the events which so often drive the property market are not global or even national: they are personal. These events are births, deaths, beginning cohabitation or ending cohabitation, stage of life changes, ambition, career success and career failure. These everyday events create a need or desire to move on or move in.
These personal events will always be with us no matter what is going on in the world or which government is in power. When a government – any government – dabbles in the property market, the result is usually a massive hangover once the policy party is over.
No, the market is best left to home buyers and sellers. Right now we seem to be in a state of zero gravity. We are floating between price rises and price drops, as the lack of property for sale is counteracted by the rising cost of living, garnished with some pretty momentous global news.
Put it this way; if you wait for global events to stabilise, you will wait a long time. It’s better to let your life events direct you. That way everyone knows where they are.