A reflection on the UK Residential property market


For some months, the residential property market has been sluggish at best. Very little property is coming onto the market, online agencies are beginning to acquire a greater market share and the general feeling is that buyers can obtain good deals even though volume is down, normally leading to a seller’s market.

Perhaps the days of the vast number of high street agencies are numbered. Some companies have more than one brand of agency in the same town such as Countrywide, with Hamptons and Gascoigne Pees competing in an already tough market for the same business with offices a few doors from each other. Interestingly Countrywide are also calling for a huge extra investment to plug some of their financial holes which is a further sign of a residential property market in trouble.

With the prospect of interest rates rising in the near future, lenders’ valuers are beginning to down value properties when carrying out their mortgage valuation and with the sword of Brexit forever hovering above our heads, is the residential property market on the verge of a dramatic downward revision?

As we emerged from what seemed to be a long and damp winter, the Spring market did appear to be busy, volume wise, but this has not kicked on. Our wonderfully hot summer and the distraction of the FIFA World Cup may have partly had an influence, but my own view is that deep down there are very worrying signs in the residential property market that may be here to stay for a while.


This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.


David Knapp

Partner, Residential Property

David is Partner of the firm, and a qualified solicitor. David has worked at Hart Brown for 38 years, joining the firm in 1981. He...

David Knapp- Partner, Residential Property

Partner, Residential Property

David Knapp

David is Partner of the firm, and a qualified solicitor.

David has worked at Hart Brown for 38 years, joining the firm in 1981. He graduated from the City of Birmingham Polytechnic in 1980, attended Guildford Law School in 1980 and qualified as a solicitor in 1984.

David's specialism in residential property and progression throughout the firm has enabled him to build many long-lasting relationships with clients he has helped over the years and continues to do so. He has a great deal of legal and life experience and enjoys interaction with those known to him as well as newly introduced people.