Q I am trying to buy a property in Oxfordshire but some of my friends have advised me to postpone any purchase because of the possibility of a no-deal Brexit. Some people believe property prices will go up while others believe that prices will fall. So I can’t decide whether it’s the right time to buy or whether I should wait. Can you tell me what to do?
A No, I can’t tell you what to do and nor can I predict the type of Brexit we’ll end up with next March or how it will affect house prices. But I can shed light on what the experts think. The governor of the Bank of England. Mark Carney, has warned that if it all goes horribly wrong and we face a “disorderly” Brexit (which means a no-deal one), the economy will suffer, unemployment, consumer prices and interest rates could rise while – in a worst case scenario – house prices could fall by as much as 25% to 30%. So your friends who think that house prices will fall could have a point. On the other hand, so could your friends who think that house prices will rise – although it’s more a case of prices rising but not quite as quickly as they were predicted to pre-EU referendum. Back in February this year, experts were predicting that house prices would stop going up or, at the very least, go up by no more than 1%. They weren’t far off but according to figures recently published by the Office for National Statistics, average house prices in the UK have, in fact, increased by 3.1% in the year to July 2018 (down from 3.2% in the year to June 2018).
So where does this leave you and your potential house purchase in the far-from-cheap county of Oxfordshire? If you are more confused than ever, I wouldn’t be surprised. But if you are left feeling that as no one can predict the future, you might as well ignore your friends’ conflicting views and make a decision based on those things which you can control rather than those – such as Brexit – which you can’t. So if you’ve found somewhere to buy that you feel you’d like to live in for a while, is handy for work – where there are nearby schools for children (if applicable) – and which satisfies your other household requirements, I’d be tempted not to wait as you may run the risk of losing it if you do and/or having to pay a higher price. If you are thinking of buying a property in Oxfordshire for no other reason than you think it could be a good idea, it might be an idea to ask yourself: why?
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