The historic date of October 31st, 2019, was due to mark Britain’s eventual departure from the European Union. Instead, as many people anticipated, Brexit underwent a further postponement: the 31st came and went, with no Brexit in sight. A new exit date of January 31st, 2020 has been proposed for Britain’s exit from the EU. This delayed transition will undoubtedly affect all areas of the UK economy, including – but not limited to- the housing market. In this guide to the property market throughout Brexit, County Homesearch keep you up-to-date with the latest news: when it will happen, what it means, and where we are so far.
So, what impact has Brexit been having on the housing market?
Since June 2016, the industry has witnessed significantly fewer homes up for sale, and a sharp drop in housing prices – in London particularly. Certainly, the level of new sale instructions in the industry is the lowest it has been since the referendum; and Rightmove released data last month which showed the weakest month-to-month rise of property prices on the market in over a decade, compared to the same time of year. All in all, a subdued market.
However, as we reported in October, the prospect of Brexit is having a surprising effect on the property finders’ market. An increase in property-finding services over the past few months has been largely attributed to economic factors; namely the drop in UK house prices. A further potential cause suggested is the appeal of secure property for those wishing to remain in the UK.
Indeed, for many people, engaging County Homesearch to be their property finding service (allowing them to compile a list of potential properties, expertly assess them and help people to reach a decision) seems to be many people’s solution to the unpredictable market and limited supply of on-market properties. This is corroborated by our expert property finders, who confirm that County Homesearch offices have seen a spike in new clients exceeding any point in the past ten years!
What does the new delay mean for the housing market?
Despite these statistics, it’s undeniable that the industry – and Britain – remains in political deadlock. Whether you’re a staunch Remainer or a keen Brexiteer, the new delay to January 31st and an election in between, has left many property owners and developers with yet more uncertainty about the shape and nature of Britain’s exit from the EU. Given that the true exit is yet to happen, the impact of the move is still being debated.
It was projected in a KPMG report that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, house prices could fall by 6% in 2020; and yet according to Nationwide, the average UK house price is still £64,000 higher than it was a decade ago, with the average price in London £195,000 higher. Simply put, the market remains in flux. The delay additionally raises questions about whether Britain is likely to leave with a deal, or without one. Jonathan Stephens, Surrenden Invest’s managing director, sought to alleviate concerns that either would have an immediate impact on the housing market, arguing that industry effects make themselves known slower than other industries, like the stock market.
He commented: “Whether the UK leaves with a ‘soft’ Brexit, or a ‘hard’ Brexit, there will likely be a slowing down of the housing market. However, I don’t anticipate any kind of immediate large-scale fall in prices – more a softening of the market as buyers hold their collective breath.”
David Westgage, head of Andrews Property group, commented: ‘The sheer level of political uncertainty has left the property market in a protracted limbo’ – a limbo which remains, in the wake of the delay. It appears that, despite the fact that buyers may remain undeterred, those selling their homes may be waiting until Britain’s fate is decided before committing to sell.
What’s the latest news on the property market?
Despite the fluctuation, the property market is showing the potential of recovery: the Halifax Housing Index reported that despite a 0.1 per cent fall in house prices over the past month, there is a quarterly rise of 0.2 per cent. Progress may be on the horizon for the fluctuating market with the imminent approach of the new year.
The new date to watch, then, is January 31st, with its promise of a new Brexit deal, which may bring improvements to the industry as a whole. Indeed, despite the fluctuating of the housing market and its political uncertainty, County Homesearch remain committed to finding you the best possible property for your prices, with exclusive access to properties which aren’t commercially available.
If you’d like some advice from one of our experts on property finding, please contact us today on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0333 939 8300, and one of our regional property buying agents will be more than happy to help you.