Post-Brexit Brighton property market

Here, in the People’s Republic of Brighton and Hove (have you ordered the passport yet?), despite the 100,000 or so local voters who wanted to ‘Remain’, we are still a part of the wider UK.  So, as we Brexit, we need to ‘man-up and deal with it’.  So what should we do about the ‘golden egg’, the Brighton & Hove property market?

Our market has been strongly allied to high-end London areas ever since those residents realised they could have their London lifestyle but with a beach down the road, living in a City not much bigger than one of London’s villages; now commuting to their London workstation as quickly as from their erstwhile London home.  Of course, we need to thank Southern and Thameslink for providing replacement bus services and rail diversions via Lewes and points West too, enhancing our new commuters’ knowledge of Sussex geography.  How thoughtful of them…

Notwithstanding our rail companies’ efforts, people continue to fall in love with Brighton and Hove.  So, in this post-Brexit world there are still buyers, sellers and tenants, both local and non-local, moving into, out of and around our City.

How will we as local property professionals and you, Brighton and Hove residents who need to move for one reason or another, deal with this ‘New World Order’ in a way which will be more inclusive than the property market we have inhabited for several years before the vote?  I ask this question because of what we’re seeing all over social media in the last few days.  Local folk are tired of the property market model we have allowed to overwhelm us: exclusive, partial, unreal, impossible to compete in, unaffordable and often only available to the richer elements of our region (London included); whilst local people, many on ‘average wages’, cannot get a look in.  

That’s why I started the article with the ‘People’s Republic…’.  Brighton has a unique collective psyche but it has never spoken in the property arena. Do people now have a will to make our local property market more ‘real’?

Of course, without home owners taking the lead, anything agents do will not make a difference. But recently, I’ve visited quite a few sellers who have agreed with me that we shouldn’t ask ‘stupid money’ as they call it, for their property, as they know it will not sell.  It would then have to take price reductions and become stale…a bad place to be.

If a property is put up for sale or to let at a sensible price, the logic is that all the people thinking of that kind of property will go to see it immediately.  The first few weeks on the market is the critical time to get a sound offer.  With a realistic asking price, all potential interested parties will view; so it will sell or let, and at the best price it should achieve, since no one will be waiting to view.

It sounds too sensible, straightforward and transparent but there is a certain logic and reality to this approach.  I saw a house last Monday, where one agent had quoted £400,000, another £600,000: what’s the logic there?  No wonder buyers and sellers are confused.

In post-Brexit Brighton and Hove, to sustain confidence in the property market, whilst we see how things pan out, we need to take stock and be sensible, property professionals especially, then people will get to move as they need to; in, out and around the City.

Paul Bonett  F.N.A.E.A.  M.A.R.L.A. - Director, Bonett’s Estate Agents.