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Martin Roberts: Property Perspective

PUBLISHED: 15:32 19 September 2016

Martin Roberts © Chris Balcombe

Martin Roberts © Chris Balcombe

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The presenter of the popular BBC property auction show Homes under the Hammer give us his views on all things property

Well, it’s been a quiet news month hasn’t it? Not much for me to comment on then!

Oh, apart from Brexit, Chilcot…and now to cap it all my screen wife, Lucy Alexander is divorcing me. Obviously the first and last topics are the ones I’m being questioned on relentlessly at the moment. Re Lucy; No comment, other than to say (a) I’m really sad she’s leaving Homes Under The Hammer. It’s been a wonderful screen partnership for nearly 14 years, and it won’t be the same without her. And (b) I’m keeping the dog!

Re Brexit; well it seems the result was a turn up for the books and came as a bit of a suprise to everyone. Not me. I did a Twitter poll the day before, asking my Twitter followers which way they were going to vote, and it came out at 53 per cent leave; 47 per cent stay. EXACTLY the result. I think I’ll hire my services out to Richard Dimbleby and YouGov come the next general election.

So what now? Particularly as it relates to property prices and availability of mortgages and other finance…? Well…. how the heck should I know? I’m not bloomin’ Madame Zelda and don’t have her crystal ball. But let’s just calmly and logically look at the facts.

Our economy will not collapse. As the fifth biggest in the world, it just ain’t going to happen or we’d take the rest of the world down with us. And that would result in too many influential people loosing too much money. The financial world is in a completely different place from the pre 2007/08 Lehman Brothers, toxic debt, The Big Short (btw, have you see the film? It’s brilliant!) times.

Interest rates are heading down, not up. Money has never been cheaper to borrow, and that stimulates business and puts more money in the pockets of consumers. Rubbish for savers, it’s true, so where do they look to invest their savings? Property. Even with the recent buy-to-let dis-incentives of increased stamp duty and decreased allowable expenses, your rented-out flat in Glastonbury is still clearing you more than the 0.0000000004% the Farrington Gurney and Hinton Blewit Building Society is offering.

And Sterling’s downward trend? Well, your cappuccino may cost more in Rome, but a falling pound encourages overseas investment in Britain - including buying property - so that bit of market won’t collapse either. Property prices in London are showing signs of a slowdown, but I think that’s just coincidence. And probably inevitable too. When an averagely paid worker can’t afford to buy even the smallest flat, something just isn’t right! As a recent housing minister said: “There is a massive demand for rental housing, but a massive shortage of rental properties available.”

And as we move in to the next historical phase of life on our beloved island, that desirable home in Chard or Taunton or Wells or Dunster is still as desirable as ever. My suggestion is that we don’t let the predictable negatives about Brexit become a self-fulfilling prophecy. There’s a woman in charge now, so it will all be fine!

It’s time to get back to worrying about important stuff; like who’ll be on this year’s Strictly and I’m a Celebrity and whether Farrow & Ball’s Mouse’s Back or Elephant’s Breath is the best choice of colour for the new dining room.

For more information about Martin, his property training courses and his property and children’s books, visit his website

You can follow him on Twitter as well, at @TVMartinRoberts.

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