A recent series of property auctions held by property advisers Savills, a little over a month after the UK’s Brexit vote, has painted a picture of the commerical and residential property markets in the wake of the referendum.
The events are followed closely by the property industry, as giving a snapshot of trading on the ground, and it currently seems that though the market is faltering, it is far from crashing.
“It’s very quiet. The market is going down — but the best time to buy is when no one’s buying,” said Sabir Manji, a small-scale property investor.
According to data from the Essential Information Group, the number of lots sold in auctions in July was down by 13.3% compared to last year, but this was partly due to vendors holding back, as there were also 8.7% fewer lots up for sale.
Residential lots have suffered more than commercial, seeing a 15.3% year-on-year drop in homes changing hands, with sales amounting to £325.5m.
However, despite the fall, this was still the third-highest amount raised in July in the last 10 years. This period covers the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath, which, according to auctioneers, brought the market to a virtual standstill.
“It is a time for reflection. I wasn’t surprised to see the figures go down,” says David Sandeman, who is the managing director at EIG. “The market has been bullish over the past year, so even without Brexit it might have dropped. The market was humming until June 23.”
The apparent downturn, however, remains far short of that seen during the 2008 crisis.
“Volumes might be down but this is nothing like the sentiment we saw then. The banks are strong, we haven’t had people queueing outside them — there’s no reason to think a black hole is coming.”