Brexit blight on UK property market refuted

Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, provides his insight on our latest research, which investigates the impact both Brexit and stamp duty are having on consumers’ current property decisions.

Last month we asked more than 1,100 of our clients to provide their thoughts on the impact macroeconomic issues such as Brexit, stamp duty land tax (SDLT) and Boris Johnson’s government had on their property decisions.

 Sellers and buyers’ response to Brexit
Although recnt reports have suggested that many would-be sellers are being deterred by the combination of ‘muted pricing power’ and ‘short-term political uncertainty’, our latest figures show that seven in 10 (70%) homeowners who planned to sell their property this year stated that uncertainty around the UK leaving the EU did not deter them from doing so. 

Despite yet another Brexit milestone missed today (31st October 2019), this figure is only nine percentage points lower than our 2017 research which asked the same question of active home sellers. In 2017, 79% of active home sellers stated political uncertainty did not deter them from listing their home on the housing market.

Whilst a deal has not yet been agreed between the UK and the EU, our data also revealed that in an event of a no-deal Brexit almost four in 10 (39%) respondents said that it would have no impact at all on their home buying decisions. Meanwhile, only 14% of UK consumers believe a no-deal Brexit would have a strong impact on their decision to put their home on the market.

 Boris’ Leadership & SDLT

It has of course been widely reported that SDLT is disrupting the housing market, with both buyers and sellers holding back from making a move due to these charges. 

Our research found that 41% of respondents, who encompassed both buyers and sellers, believe a wholesale reduction in SDLT is required across all brackets. You’ll remember that during Boris Johnson’s campaign earlier this year for Prime Minister he planned to overhaul the stamp duty property tax charges. Yet since taking on the role as the UK’s Prime Minister no further clarity has been provided. It is therefore unsurprising that more than half of our respondents (55%) believe housing isn’t a priority for Boris Johnson.

 Relocations due to Brexit

Relocation is also not a consideration for 60% of our clients, who confirmed that they wouldn’t consider leaving the UK or buying a second home abroad in the event of Brexit. Less than four in ten people (37%) said they would consider moving outside of the UK because of Brexit, whilst only 3% are currently in the process of either moving out of the UK or buying a second home abroad for this reason.

Although the UK lacks confidence in Boris Johnson’s ability, or want, to prioritise improving the housing market, I think it is very positive to see so many respondents unfazed by the prospect of the country leaving the EU. The current market is very discerning and buying or selling a home isn’t something that people do off the cuff – there is often an overriding reason for moving, whether that is to be closer to schools or childcare, the need to upsize or downsize or even to experience a more relaxed lifestyle. Now represents an ideal time for homeowners to put their property on the market; those high-quality, well priced homes are attracting the attention of serious buyers, and our branches in particular are succeeding in delivering excellent sales, despite the unusual market conditions.

If you are ready to sell your home or on a search for your dream property do get in touch with your local Jackson-Stops branch.