Brexit impact on the Housing Market

Following the vote to leave there was the almost obligatory reporting from estate agents that there was a sharp drop in buyer interest and it would have been easy to conclude that the housing bubble would finally burst.

However, after almost three months since the vote there is evidence to suggest that the housing market has settled down. In particular, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has stated that the market has now stabilised after the initial drop. Its members predict that house prices will increase by 3.3% a year on average for the next 5 years. Although buyer enquires did dip again in August, albeit modestly, sales expectations are beginning to edge upwards again. The Bank of England’s response of a quarter point cut to the interest rate has sent out a clear message that borrowing costs are to remain low in the long term, thereby helping to support confidence in the market.

The Conveyancing process

On a typical sale the seller’s conveyancer will send out the draft documentation to the buyer’s solicitor. The contract pack will include the office copy entries of the title deeds and supporting documents referred to in the title, as well as the completed protocol forms. The buyer’s solicitor will then raise enquires on the contract package. The seller’s solicitor will reply to the enquires and when the buyer’s solicitor is satisfied that all enquires have been answered, parties will exchange contracts and then proceed to completion.

On a typical purchase, the buyer’s solicitor will put in their searches and then raise enquires on the documentation. The buyer’s solicitor will report to the client once all enquires have been satisfactorily answered and they are in receipt of a satisfactory mortgage offer and clear search results. The buyer will then need to provide his solicitor with the 10% deposit and a signed contract and the parties can then proceed to exchange of contract when they will fix the completion date. In between exchange and completion the buyer’s solicitor will request mortgage monies and set the matter up for completion. The buyer’s solicitor will then pay the stamp duty and register the title. Generally the whole conveyancing process will take between 6 to 8 weeks, but that may vary depending on the particular circumstances.