Referendum – Remains Ahead
After three months in the Doldrums, the country house market looks set to surge ahead again once the Referendum result is known on Friday; whilst the FT “poll of polls” tracker still has both sides neck and neck, the money can now be seen to be shifting substantially towards a ‘Remain’ vote (swinging to 78%, according to Betfair and reflected in Sterling enjoying its best day of trading since 2009).
With owners having held back since late March, this will be welcome news. We have never experienced such unanimity amongst the top selling agents, in reporting a dearth of activity across the south east (indeed, in contradiction to their own forecasts earlier in the year, prices have been seen to be falling by up to 15 or 20 points).
Whilst the effect of a ‘remain’ decision can be expected to be much more immediate than a ‘Leave’, it is likely to take some time for the financial markets to feel their way – whereas those looking for a country house, who face a longer term decision, can be expected to put all this behind them and get on with their lives.
Mind you, those expecting such decisiveness to stimulate price growth are likely to be disappointed; the effect of SDLT rates above £1m, combined with school fee pressure, are likely to anchor buyers’ feet firmly in reality.