08 Aug First time buyers in UK not impacted by Brexit vote
Article in PropertyWire 28 July Weekly 2016 (reproduced with permission of PropertyWire Weekly)
Buyers in the UK seemed largely unperturbed in the run up to the European Union referendum in June with sales to first time buyers increasing.
According to the latest monthly report from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) demand for housing increased as well while supply of available properties and the number of sales going through were stable.
However, immediately following the result to leave the EU, agents witnessed uncertainty from sellers, and supply fell momentarily.
Overall in June, estate agents saw an increase in demand which the NAEA says suggests that buyers weren’t fazed by the risk of Brexit in the lead up to the vote. There were an average 330 house hunters registered per member branch last month, up 9% from May when 304 buyers were registered, the lowest number recorded since November 2013.
However, although June saw growth in the number of prospective buyers, demand still remains low in comparison to June last year.
Meanwhile, some 57% of agents reported a drop in demand from prospective buyers and 58% saw supply fall in the week immediately following the vote. However, it is expected this will level out in July.
First time buyers in particular were not impacted by the Brexit result. Immediately following the result only 28% of NAEA agents witnessed uncertainty from this group of buyers, while 30% of total house sales in June were made to first time buyers, the highest number of sales since October last year.
The Brexit vote did not affect the number sales that completed in June either, with a total of eight sales completing per branch last month, a figure which has not shifted from May. Further to this, the supply of available housing also remained the same with an average of 37 properties registered per member branch in June.
‘In periods of extreme political and economic uncertainty, the housing market will always respond. However, it’s a relief to see that looking at the whole month overall, buyers were still keen to buy, sellers were still keen to sell and sales were still going through at the same level as we’d expect,’ said Mark Hayward, NAEA managing director.
‘It’s only natural that immediately following the vote supply fell but our figures show that the lead up to the vote wasn’t all doom and gloom, which should be a good indication of the months to come,’ he explained.
‘We remain upbeat and need others in the industry to do so as well. The new Housing Minister confirming his commitment to building £1 million new homes will be encouraging for many buyers, especially those looking to buy their first home. Hopefully we should soon see housing market confidence bouncing back to the levels seen pre-Brexit,’ he added.