What Will Happen To The UK Property Market If We Leave The EU?

Wednesday, 15 June, 2016 - 20:06

The EU referendum is currently dominating our lives. With so much spin and conjecture it is hard to unpick the facts and know which side to believe. Both Brexit and the stay campaign have offered compelling economic views. The think tanks and politicians have tied us up in knots with data and projections. Much has been speculated about possible economic downturns should we leave, with chaos forecast by some designed to scare us all. But will it be that bad and what of the property market? Are we about to see a return to a similar blow up to the infamous bubble burst caused by the US subprime bubble between 2007 and 2009?

There certainly a lot of uncertainty in the pre-referendum property market. At the time of writing, several billion had been wiped from the FTSE in the light of the leave campaign leading in the most recent major poll. Markets hate uncertainty and agents are reporting a quieter period for the time of the year. This mirrors the period before the general election when there were lower numbers of instructions for the same period the previous year. This may be down to potential sellers waiting to see the outcome. Without seller's there is obviously little choice for potential buyers. Conversely, this keeps prices high as there is to little supply for the ever increasing demand.

If Brexit is successful then it is unlikely that there will be any immediate radical change to the UK’s economy as it will take months or even years for agreements to take hold. But with such volatile markets created from uncertainty before the vote has even been cast, we are likely to see even more turbulence which will impact prices and the property market.

Some have speculated that leaving the EU may benefit the property market as it would be free from certain laws and regulations and therefore could attract new investment from outside the EU.

Much of the reporting around the referendum has centred on immigration. The net numbers coming in to the country will obviously affect the supply and demand on housing which can in turn affect prices over time. Brexit would cause lower immigration to the UK but not immediately.

Brexit would cause the sterling to fall opening up opportunities for international buyers to purchase properties at a reduced rate. UK cities still remain attractive to the international community and this is unlikely to change any time soon so this could offer a great opportunity for large city purchases to be achieved.

So there really are no conclusions, only more questions and more speculation. The only realistic view is that whatever the outcome on 23 June, very little in terms of laws will change for months or even years and that demand will continue to outstrip demand.

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