The market undoubtedly slowed in 2018, for a range of reasons, not the least of which was a sense of uncertainty on the back of some fundamental changes. However, it would seem things are literally now thawing out - activity is increasing. We are observing renewed competition for some properties.
One of the potential grey clouds on both volume and values continues to be the impact of the Government’s Overseas Investment Bill. This controversial piece of legislation is designed to limit foreign ownership. This came into effect from 22 October 2018, 2019 will be the year the market place provides a verdict.
We note buyers are encouraged by the unchanged OCR and with it indication that interest rates may hold to 2020. In short, we would expect an increase in sales activity in 2019. Why? - because it feels as though the market has now swallowed the pill on the change of government and there is a sense of ‘’let’s get on with it’’.
Similarly, there is now a general acceptance and consensus that values have plateaued, making the relationship between buyer and seller somewhat more conciliatory.
Slowing the pace of listing and selling real estate is the introduction of the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Legislation – effective from 1st January. This has made the process of listing a house for sale more onerous, time consuming and in the case of property owned in a trust, quite invasive. It seems odd that the Real Estate Industry are included in this information gathering, as it would appear a duplication of the client’s solicitors function. Our hope is that common sense will prevail and a more streamlined system evolves.
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