Royal wedding may spur feel-good sales

Richard Sexton

Whether royalist or republican, most people are at least looking forward to a day off when Kate Middleton and Prince William tie the knot.

We don’t anticipate many people will want a surveyor poking around while they nibble on sausage rolls and raise a glass of Babycham, so our operations will close for the day.

The less obvious effect is that the event is likely to positively impact the economy – and perhaps even the housing market – if past experience is anything to go by.

In the property sector, the feel-good factor is a real variable. When England does well in the World Cup, it becomes more difficult to arrange appointments to access homes as people presumably huddle ever closer to the television.

We then tend to see a lift in sales and mortgage applications soon after, which it seems can be attributed to a generally more optimistic viewpoint pervading the population.

It’s completely illogical, of course, but it is a fascinating insight into the part that emotion plays in the workings of the market.

Something like just 10% of housing transactions are necessary due to work relocation or other external factors, so 90% of the purchases are discretional – we don’t need to move, but we decide we’d like to.

It’s a little unnerving to consider that how well our businesses perform in the next 12 months may to some extent depend on how far Andy Murray gets in Wimbledon this year. Weird? Yes, but definitely true.