“Rumours of my demise have been greatly exaggerated”

Market Update for 2023

“Rumours of my demise have been greatly exaggerated” was attributed to the famous writer Mark Twain, after an American newspaper printed his obituary whilst he was very much alive on a speaking tour in the UK.

This quote could easily sum up the Residential property market in Devon and Cornwall for 2023. The UK media constantly run the risk that sensational headlines designed to grab people’s attention and sell their product may well become a self-fulfilling prophecy in the property market. Don’t forget their predictions for the effects of both Brexit and Covid on the property market were, at the very least, wide of the mark.

Having worked in the property market for over 30 years, the fundamental rule of supply and demand will always be the most important index to take into consideration. Here we are blessed to live in one of the most beautiful (and desirable) parts of the UK, so there is generally a constant demand from purchasers in other parts of the UK wanting to fulfil their dreams of West Country living, especially if the price differential (from selling to buying) works in their favour.

Therefore, if the supply is limited, major price fluctuations are highly unlikely. In fact Land Registry figures show that if the market were to drop by 10% it would only reduce property values in Devon and Cornwall to what they were in December 2021. If the more extreme predictions of 20% were to be accurate, this would only bring us back to values in February 2021. So if you haven’t purchased within that time frame you are in good shape to sell. Consequently, it is vital to ensure that your property’s likely marketing value is assessed by a locally based, experienced and knowledgeable Agent.

We are currently in a transitional phase of the market and the traditionally quiet period following Christmas and into the early New Year can mask the direction of the local property market which generally becomes evident in late February/early March. The money markets are forecasting peak interest rates in the middle of 2023 so logically a more positive financial climate will ensue. Nevertheless, the likely scenario is a much more normal market with accurate marketing values being imperative and the time to achieve an agreed sale being a few weeks as opposed to a few hours/days as has been the frenetic scene in the last couple of years.

So, in summary, the media may have decided the market’s fate, but in real life it is still alive and kicking!