What next for the UK property market?

Post Brexit, with the dust settled (almost) on the politics and sleeves being rolled up ready for the negotiations to start, the picture for property still looks mixed. Whilst Persimmon has hailed a boost in house sales in the run-up to the EU referendum and said it remained “too soon to judge” whether Brexit would hurt the UK property market, estate agents have reported collapsed deals in the wake of the vote, while Standard Life has halted trading on its own commercial property fund.

This is uncharted territory and the onus is on public confidence – if people still have the confidence to move, then the property market will continue to function. And the anecdotal evidence is, from speaking to developers across spectrum, that the ‘doom and gloom’ that has been evidenced by dramatic falls in share prices has yet to materialise in the show home.

There are savvy consumers out there taking the opportunity to haggle down prices in this uncertain environment, but it doesn’t seem to be the future that the market appears to be heading towards. Most agents advocate calm. “We don’t expect huge falls but slower price growth and fewer transactions in places where prices were most stretched,” says Jeremy Leaf, of Jeremy Leaf & Co estate agents. “Lack of stock is supporting prices even if demand weakens.”

Jeff Fairburn, chief executive of Persimmon, summed it up by saying: "From our perspective [the environment for house builders] looks pretty good. The market is taking something different from it. Trading has continued well since the referendum, and the early signs have been positive. We have seen good interest levels – the sales rate has held up and people are still wanting to buy."


This article was written by Daniel Hayman

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