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Canterbury housing market 'bucking the trend' in face of Brexit

By Marijke Hall

As the country's housing market feels the strain of Brexit uncertainty, new figures show Canterbury is bucking the trend.

Property experts say while areas such as London are experiencing a slump, house prices in the district remain buoyant, with people continuing to buy and new properties coming onto the market.

New figures from Rightmove show the average asking price for a home in Canterbury is currently £322,111 - up 1.7% on this time last year.

The average asking price for a home in Canterbury is 1.7% on this time last year
The average asking price for a home in Canterbury is 1.7% on this time last year

In contrast, over the same period prices have dropped 0.5% in Kent and 1.4% across the south east.

Estate agents based in Canterbury say they are feeling positive, with people continuing to buy and sell ahead of Britain’s impending exit from the EU on March 29.

Charlie Bainbridge, director of Charles Bainbridge Estate Agents in Broad Street, said: “It appears that the sheer length of time Brexit has been rumbling along in the background has bored people and most have decided to just crack on with life and if that involves moving home they seem to just be getting on with it.

“Very often it’s a practical decision revolving around additional space, or less space, schooling, employment and relationships - all these influences, among others, continue to create a supply and demand regardless of the unknown quantity Brexit may hold.

“We’ve even seen some recent sales at, or in excess of, guide prices, so the right house, appropriately priced and in a quality location is still a perfectly saleable proposition.”

Clinton Wells, director of exclusive homes at Miles and Barr in Lower Chantry Lane, says any issues with the housing market nationwide have not been so noticeable in Canterbury.

He does admit, however, that some are more cautious than others.

“When we had the Brexit announcement we thought this would mean tricky times, but apart from two weeks when people got over the shock of the result, you wouldn’t have thought much had happened,” he said.

Charles Bainbridge Estate Agents, Broad Street, Canterbury. Canterbury Character, Charles Bainbridge.Picture: Tony Flashman FM3586690 (7576437)
Charles Bainbridge Estate Agents, Broad Street, Canterbury. Canterbury Character, Charles Bainbridge.Picture: Tony Flashman FM3586690 (7576437)

“I know there are some people who are stalling but we’ve found some go the other way - they want to move, they see other people are buying and so they just go with it, particularly in our core branches that have the mixed bag of properties ranging up to £500,000.”

He says sellers are also putting their homes on the market for more realistic prices.

Allun Lewis, senior branch manager at Wards in St Margaret’s Street, says they have had a good start to the year following a “painful” end to 2018, when nothing was shifting.

He believes property prices have dropped in some areas of Canterbury, though, but not because of Brexit.

“The city council has limited the number of HMOs, stamp duty has gone up on buy-to-lets and there is more student accommodation being built,” he said.

“It’s had a massive impact on areas such as Hales Place and high student areas.

“We’ve seen houses that would usually go for £300,000 go for £250,000, £270,000 homes going for £230,000 and so on.

“Properties are becoming so attractive to buy in terms of value that people are taking the plunge.”

For more Brexit news click here.

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