How Brexit could affect house prices - and seven other things that could lower the value of your home

The past few weeks have shown that, if anything, the UK appears even further away from an EU withdrawal deal than ever before.

The uncertainty surrounding our exit from the EU has already had a stark effect on UK house prices, with growth slowing in many regions.

While we've not seen a crash in the housing market sparked by the referendum of 2016, London in particular has seen a drop in growth of around 0.4% in the year to May 2018, according to the Office of National Statistics. This has subsequently dragged down the national average.

WHAT IS LIKELY TO HAPPEN ONCE WE EXIT THE EU NEXT YEAR?

With so much uncertainty surrounding the possible deal Theresa May could seek to strike with Brussels, it really is hard to anticipate how Brexit will affect house prices.

But the housing market is underpinned by salaries and interest rates - and most experts predict wages will be quashed by a Brexit propped up by barriers to trade.

Essentially, to coin a phrase, a 'hard' Brexit could be bad for the housing market. A rise in interest rates, meanwhile, would also further suppress the market.

SO, WHAT ELSE COULD AFFECT THE VALUE OF MY HOME?

Away from the complexities of Brexit, you'll be pleased to know that some of the seven most common things to drag down the value of your property can be rectified in some way.

While some could be down to your property being a victim of circumstance or because of the actions of others, there are steps you can take to nullify the effect on the value of your home.

SUBSIDENCE

Subsidence does affect house prices. It's that simple. But if you spot the signs of subsidence at your home, you can remedy the effects by acting quickly.

Here are the top-four signs of subsidence to look out for:

* A diagonal crack wider at the top than the bottom
* The thickness of the crack is more than the thickness of a 10p coin
* The crack can be seen inside and outside of the property
* Doors and windows close to the crack are sticking

If you spot these tell-tell signs, contact your insurer right away.

While remedying subsidence can be a long process, often with increased excesses of £1,000 or more, repairing the damage to help stabilise both the property and its value.

ILLEGAL HOME IMPROVEMENTS

This may not be down to you, with a previous owner perhaps having undertaken major work at the property without planning permission.

But homes with loft conversions or extensions that don't have the correct permissions are a big no-no for buyers.

And the cost of undoing the work can run into thousands.

FLOODING FEARS

An experienced buyer or knowledgable solicitor will easily be able to find out if your home sits on a flood plain.

Buyers will often ask for a price reduction if this is discovered. But it can be worth you, as a seller, finding out how many times your property has been flooded in the past 30 or 50 years.

If the result is once or twice during that time, hold firm on your asking price as much as you can.

POOR EXTERIORS

Many buyers will make a decision on a property as soon as they pull up outside ahead of a viewing. So a poorly maintained exterior will put many people off from minute one. And those who are not put off may look to secure the property for a vastly reduced offer.

Unruly front gardens, tired or broken guttering, peeling paintwork or crumbly pointing can wipe as much as 5% off the value of your home, yet these problems can all be put right for a fraction of that figure.

NOISY NEIGHBOURS

If a buyer discovers they would be living next to the neighbour from hell when they view your property, there's a fair chance you won't see them again let alone have to deal with an insulting offer.

As well as noise, rude behaviour and intimidation from the neighbours can wipe out a fair amount of your property's value not to mention see you liable for compensation if they make your buyer's life a misery once they move in. While it is difficult to prove you knew about their exploits before selling, it is something worth pondering.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

According to the 2017 Budget, the UK needs to build 300,000 homes every year. That's a substantial amount and brings with it the prospect of a development springing up near your home.

As with flooding areas, good solicitors can discover plans for new developments easily through searches and an estate of new homes close to your back garden will unquestionably lower your property's value.

POOR DECORATION

Extravagant properties decorated with a niche idea might work for you, but such individual taste could see a buyer vastly reduce their offer in order to tone everything down.

Ceilings plastered with Artex or wood panelling and exteriors pebble dashed or cladded in stone are all things that can be fixed prior to putting up the For Sale board.


If you have any questions about the value of your home, contact your local Martin & Co office who can carry out a free home valuation for you.

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