Anthony Wood of Samuel Wood takes a very personal view on moving home in this time of political and economic uncertainty.
Which way will you vote? Will you vote to move home before or after the election?
All decisions have consequences. And all big decisions have big consequences. Buying and selling property is certainly a big decision. Answers to questions like this are best made on the basis of what you know.
So what do we know? We know that Britain is a nation of homeowners, that we have the lowest interest rates ever and lenders have entered a mortgage rate war, bringing some incredible deals to the market. We know that as salaries rise so does the affordability to move home and that it is now often cheaper to buy a property than to rent one. We know that we are more optimistic about the economic future - and therefore our own financial futures - than we have been since 2008. Finally we know that property stock levels are the lowest for many years and while that should put upward pressure on prices it hasn’t because of what we don’t know.
We don’t know who will be in 10 Downing Street after May 7th. So we don’t know what sort of country we will be living in following the election. We don’t know how far the current improvement in the economy will take us, nor the effect that the three headed monster crisis of Euro Zone, the Ukraine and the Middle East will have over time. Nor do we know how much a mansion tax would affect the UK property market. It would also be helpful if we knew how long our current low interest rates will prevail. But we don’t.
One thing estate agents have always known is that many fewer people would move if residential properties were simply viewed as commodities. But residential properties are not commodities they are homes. And despite what is going on in the world, at the heart of our lives and our families are our homes. They are not a speculation they are a human necessity.
If your voting intention to move is clouded by indecision you are not alone. But in my view one thing is certain; home trumps the UK economy, current affairs, ‘dodgy’ politicians, terrorists, tax evaders, devolution and the oil industry. Home is where the heart is and if this is the right time to find a new home then now is the right time to move – despite what is going on in the rest of the world or who might be grinning broadly at us from the steps of Number10 on 8th May.