The post-referendum landscape for residential property

The post-referendum landscape for residential property

In the aftermath of the referendum vote, Henry Stuart, head of the residential real estate team at Withers, considers the implications for the residential property market.

How will referendum result impact on the residential property sector, both short and long term?

The residential property sector is not a single entity but a collection of different markets that will likely see different things happening at different speeds in different sectors. UK prime has already seen a cooling of activity over the last 18 months/two years, where the old adage of investors not liking uncertainty has been the story of the day going back as far as four years. Consultation after consultation, and various tax changes, mean that the market has already seen the impact of uncertainty, rising hold costs (in the form of tax) and so too rising transactional costs have precipitated cooling in both the pricing and volume of transactions. Brexit merely joins that list as a new uncertainty.

All that being said, where the currency takes the significant hit that it has, and a proportion of buyers being non-UK (around 80% of prime buyers are UK-based, so it is important not to overstate) will lead to many buyers reassessing the fall in sterling and the softer pricing. There will be those, as with 2009, who take a deep breath and see now as a time for investment. This is unlikely to be a major impact but is worth bearing in mind.

Away from prime, the mainstream market lags behind in the same ways one would expect. Inflation and job concern, concern over interest rate rises (and a possible disconnect between base and mortga

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