Has Brexit affected house sales in the UK?

Throughout 2017 there was a great deal of uncertainty over the impact of Brexit on the UK housing market. However, the first few weeks of the new year would seem to indicate that, despite some negative forecasts in the light of the EU referendum, house sales could prove to be resilient. From a 4 bedroom house in Surrey, to London flats, buyers are still looking for new homes and the figures could indicate that even Brexit won’t stand in their way.

First time buyers are keen

First time buyers made up a huge 55% of all the conveyancing registrations in the first week of January this year on home moving services website reallymoving.com. This is the group of buyers about whom particular reservations have been expressed so the obvious enthusiasm with which first time buyers started their property purchases at the start of the year would indicate that Brexit hasn’t entirely put people off.

The cut to Stamp Duty helps

First time buyers have benefitted from the recent changes to Stamp Duty, which have introduced a Stamp Duty holiday for this demographic for properties bought for under £300,000 and a discounted rate for properties between £300,000 - £500,000. This is clearly proving to be an incentive to first time buyers who are keen to get a foot on the property ladder while there is no stamp duty to pay.

However, it’s not just first time buyers

Figures from Reallymoving.com indicated a surge in interest in its services at the start of this year. In fact, it received 15% more visitors to its website in the first week of January 2018 than was the case the year before. This would suggest that there is more resilience in UK buyers than many predicted after the Brexit vote took place.

Interest rates aren’t putting people off

The recent rise in the Bank of England Base Rate from 0.25% to 0.5% has also been identified as a potential factor in preventing buyers from making moves. This is particularly so as further rises – albeit small – have been predicted for the coming months. However, the activity that has been recorded in the market would seem to indicate that the changes to the interest rate are not putting buyers off from looking for properties, making purchases and seeking out mortgages to fund the process.

People aren’t just looking…

The figures from reallymoving.com are particularly interesting because this is a site that offers services such as removals and surveys. So, increased activity would seem to indicate buyers who are much more advanced in their home purchases than just browsing for potential properties.

London is leading the way

64% of conveyancing buyer registrations from the first month of the year were in London. This is in spite of the fact that many predicted any Brexit slowdown would hit London first. The energy in the London market is often a barometer for the rest of the country and if this kind of activity is anything to go by then things look bright.

From Properties in Surrey, to properties in London buying activity remains positive. If you’re looking to sell in 2018 we can help you find the right deal at the right price.