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The longer days and arrival of blossom on the trees typically signals busier times for estate agents as movers make plans to sell and buy. Despite appearances to the contrary, this seasonal trend is a little more subdued to date. The property market (inextricably linked with the financial markets and wider economy) doesn't flourish on uncertainty - an element of which is certainly upon us.

There are a number of contributory factors here, not least of which is the forthcoming EU referendum. From all accounts, the financial markets favour staying within the European Union but a significant number of high profile voices are backing 'Brexit' ensuring that the outcome will not be a foregone conclusion. Concerns exist over the prospects over the global economic climate whilst, at home, austerity measures will continue to impact on the pocket.

More specifically, the introduction of the higher level of stamp duty on investors and second homeowners is definitely having an impact on the local market. The flurry of activity to beat the April deadline has subsided and there appears to be very much a 'wait and see' attitude from this buying sector. That said, it can be argued that the volume of investors in the last year or two contributed to an artificial demand and created a near 'feeding frenzy' each time a property came to the market. Many new homeowners will testify to such an experience. We may be heading for calmer waters in the coming weeks or the market just returning to a semblance of normality.

At Hollands Smith we can, though, report that we continue to achieve record sale prices within the locality. With the worst of the weather behind us and bulbs flowering in the garden the 'feel good' factor is difficult to ignore. If you're thinking of selling, presentation of your home is key and is a strong influence on being able to achieve a premium sale price. The popularity of the area, schools and amenities remain unblemished and continue to ensure that demand remains robust. For up to the minute sales and marketing advice contact Rob and Simon, the local specialists.