The UK’s decision to leave the EU is unlikely to stall Plymouth’s housing market – and mortgage rates could even come down, experts say.
Bosses at Plymouth’s Lang Town & Country (below) said they did not expect a “leave” vote in the June 23 referendum but the city’s housing market does not appear to have been affected by the result.
And they said the mood, from house buyers and sellers, now appears to be “let’s carry on”.
In fact, the Bank of England has already hinted that interest rates could be cut.
Governor Mark Carney (above) said borrowing costs could reduce from an already record low of 0.5 per cent.
Lang Town & Country chiefs said that if that was to happen it could even boost Plymouth’s economy, making it an investment hotspot.
“I can only see the market slowing down if interest rates increase,” said James Clarke (above), managing director at Lang Town and Country. “But articles I have been reading report a further cut to interest rates is on the horizon and they are already at an all-time tow.
“I have heard of examples where there have been 10-year fixed rates offered by lenders.
“I can’t see a slow down for demand of property to buy. I believe it will stay relatively stable.”
Mr Clarke said his staff were expecting a “barrage of questions” from clients in the days after the referendum result.
But this didn’t happen.
Richard Rabin (above), director of lettings at Lang Town and Country, said: “We were expecting a lot of telephone calls, we’d braced the office, but it didn’t happen.
“It may not be what everyone wanted but people are carrying on.
“That weekend we sold two houses and we have full days for the estate agency in terms of viewings.
“It does not seem to have affected us.
“As long as confidence remains in Plymouth we will be fine.”
He agreed with Mr Clarke’s assessment and said: “Plymouth is in its own bubble. We don’t see anything happening with house prices.”
He said in cities such as Bristol house prices have “gone through the roof”, but in Plymouth the market is “ticking along” and therefore the city is a good bet for investment.
“Bristol will be affected more by the vote than we will,” he said.
“House builders’ share prices fell, but demand for houses is still there.
“But if London and Bristol suffer, their housing markets, there may be a reduction in interest rates.
“And if they do that it will incentivise. It could bring a wave of confidence into the South West.
“There are some great mortgage rates out there.”
He said the lettings side of the business was also “trading as normal”, with a record high number of applicants looking for property.
“There is still a shortage of available flats and especially houses to rent,” he said. “The consensus is the lettings market will continue to be buoyant.”
Lang Town & Country was formed from a merger between Lang & Co Estate Agents and Town & Country, Sales and Lettings in May 2016.
The new company was faced with a year of change, with major re-branding and opening a new office in Notte Street (above), to complement bases in Mannamead Road, North Hill and Plymstock.
But directors were delighted when the merged business made a profit in its debut year.
It also took on six new staff, bringing the team to 35.
Mr Rabin said house sales had been “very proactive over the past 12 months”.
Mr Rabin has a long-standing pedigree in property affairs and started up Town & Country Lettings with Chris Forrest in 1997.
Meanwhile, Jay Foster joined Constables, a well-established firm of estate agents and chartered surveyors, in 1982 and moved to Lang & Co in 1995.
Other directors are Mr Clarke, Marc Rees, and Paul Preen, all coming from Lang & Co, plus Tracy Brady, Gareth Forrest, both from Town & Country, with Chris Forrest still a shareholder.