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Jan 13 2019

2019 – A brave new world?

So that's Christmas done and we're now in 2019 – happy new year! I trust one and all took the time to relax and eat too much in the company of family and friends, but now our attention turns to the year ahead. Part of my seasonal ritual is to anticipate what I think the next 12 months are likely to bring, particularly in the property market.

It doesn't take a soothsayer to recognise that the Brexit ordeal has not really gone to plan, if there ever was in fact a plan. In parliament there's as much antagonism as ever, as well as added pressure from European leaders while Theresa May is trying to hold it together and desperate to announce that everything is coming up roses, as long as her deal is (or was by the time this is published) voted for. There are already plenty of motions towards votes of no-confidence, and now Corbyn is drumming up support for an election. With things in deadlock, and support for the current PM dwindling, we could very well be seeing a general election before the year is out.

We will continue to see the national divide between prices in London/Home Counties and elsewhere in the UK to narrow, in part driven by the fall-out of the Brexit vote.

Similarly, with the online agents' model increasingly proving to provide neither the best service nor best results for clients, there is likely be a continued trajectory of decline in this 'style' of estate agency. In this case being 'cheap' is simply not delivering for customers and we may see that these companies will be forced to increase their up-front fees if they wish to continue in this vein; or adjust the model to actually incentivise completion of property transactions and achieving the best possible price.

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