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Brexit and the housing market

View profile for Lalini De Silva
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Since 2016 there has been much talk about Brexit and the UK’s deal on departure. One of the biggest issues people face is the uncertainty of it all; one expert contradicts another, one MP’s comments differ from another, changes in the deal at every turn.  It is enough to make even the most politically engaged person confused.

How is the housing market affected?

Shortly after the referendum, the property market stayed fairly stable in terms of the volume of property transactions going through to completion. BakerLaw has seen a noticeable though still relatively small decline in housing prices, despite the recent statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that shows the average house prices in the UK increased by 3.5% from last year for the majority of the UK. The exception is London where the average prices have been falling at a steady rate. However, this could be more attributable to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) increases from 2016 and heavier taxes for investors/foreign buyers. With the lowest average house prices in London being 13 times higher than a person’s average wage, this may not be an entirely bad thing.

In the last few months of 2018, as the final ‘deal’ was becoming more transparent, we have noticed that transactions are taking longer. As concerns for a dreaded “market crash” grow, the longer both buyers and sellers draw out the process. 

The Bank of England’s governor, Mark Carney has predicted a price fall of 25-30%, as the worst-case scenario. However, this is the worst-case scenario and all current indications show that the worst case is not likely to happen. There appear to be bigger impacts on the housing market such as Christmas, interest rates and population size.    

So where does this leave you?

Do you need to upsize because of a new addition to the family? Are you relocating due to work? Are you sick of renting or are you a first-time buyer wanting to settle down and make a home for yourself? Now may be the time to buy a new house and use the market uncertainty to your advantage.      

What happens with Brexit is out of your control as a buyer, seller or both. Life should not be put on hold because of uncertainty or change. Brexit will not be an immediate transition in March 2019, it will take time. If you want/need to buy or sell then don’t wait. Live your life now.

When you decide to sell, buy or re-mortgage, BakerLaw’s Property Team are here to make the process as stress free and cost effective as possible. Please do not hesitate to get in contact for a quote or for more details of what comes next.

 

This article is not a definitive statement of the law. It is designed as a free update on the law at the time of publishing. It is not a substitute for legal advice on specific facts and circumstances. BakerLaw LLP and/or the writer accepts no liability or responsibility for reliance on this article and recommends that you seek independent legal advice on your specific circumstances prior to taking any steps.

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