Reaction to Brexit from the property industry

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The shockwaves of the EU referendum vote have been reverberating across the housing industry with reaction coming thick and fast.

While it seems far too early to try and predict what will happen in the property market, experts are cautiously hazarding their opinions.

Many of the headlines have concentrated on how house prices could fall.

Any decline in immigration might also impact the numbers of badly needed workers in the construction industry unless steps are taken to address the skills crisis.

But among the warnings there are positives.

It must be remembered that if house prices do fall, not everyone will be disappointed.

First time buyers could have a more affordable path to home ownership in the future.

It was widely believed that interest rates could rise with the downgrading of Britain’s credit rating but that hasn’t happened, and there are as many predictions for the movement in rate to be down as up.

David Cox, managing director of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and Mark Hayward, managing director of National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), issued a joint statement: “The outcome of the EU referendum will create a period of uncertainty among homeowners, buyers, investors, landlords and developers.

“We can expect international investors to look a lot harder at the UK as a market; this will have a consequential impact upon the house building sector as investment may be stalled.

“In the short term we believe that both prices, and rents, will remain stable, but we cannot be certain about the next quarter as political instability and market unrest could lead through into prices in the housing market.

“We believe that the UK housing market is resilient, as is the supply chain that drives it.

“But the bigger impact may well be in the skills necessary to drive UK housing development, and this is now a major concern for UK buyers and renters.”

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “The effect of the result has been immediate, and we are already seeing market turbulence and a fall in the pound.

“The priority for the government and the Bank of England must now be to stabilise the position and maintain confidence in the UK.

“It is now clear that there will be political changes ahead, but we will continue to work in partnership with government and other stakeholders so that the real estate industry, which is a considerable contributor to UK GDP, can continue to support the economy and create great places.

“The negotiation process is going to be long and complicated, and there will be many unknowns ahead.

“Our priority is that the government maintains focus on existing national priorities such as housing.”

Meanwhile, a survey of homeowners carried out after the result was announced seems to suggest a change in behaviour will be immediate.

Plentific.com’s statistics highlight that 10 per cent of homeowners are now more likely to improve their home than sell it in the current market.

The survey also revealed that 12 per cent of home owners are now less likely to sell their property in the next three years.