By Bea Patel, TLE Property Editor and Director of Shop for an Agent
New research reveals areas who voted for the UK to leave the EU have seen a positive effect on their local property market. But areas that voted ‘Remain’ have seen a significant drop in activity. The figures demonstrate the ‘psychology of Brexit’ and its impact on property market confidence for the first time.
The research conducted by haart estate agents looked at registrations, listings and sales data across a sample of 20 of its local branches.
Overall, Remain branches saw a 6 per cent fall in the number of listed properties, while Leave branches saw a 1 per cent increase in listings. Six out of ten Leave branches reported an increase in listings, but in Remain areas, six out of ten reported a fall. The number of registrations within the selected 20 haart branches fell in both Leave and Remain areas, down 30 per cent on average in Remain areas but only down 23 per cent in Leave areas.
The number of sales which fell through in Leave branches was 2 per cent lower than the proportion before the EU referendum. But in Remain branches, over 50 per cent of sales fell through on average during the weeks after the vote.
Leave vs Remain branches
In the weeks after the Brexit result, Doncaster, an area which voted 69 per cent for Leave saw a 25 per cent rise in the number of listings. In nearby Barnsley, which voted 68 per cent to Leave, the number of sales falling through dropped by 39 per cent.
Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, voted 71 per cent for Leave. They saw a 9.6 per cent jump in the number of applicants signing up to branches in the weeks following the vote. In Great Shelford, South Cambridgeshire who voted Remain by 60 per cent, there was a 42 per cent drop in the number of registrations.
Bristol, an area which voted 62 per cent for Remain saw a decline in activity across all three haart branches in the city. Southville branch saw a drop in registrations of 54 per cent following the referendum, while Fishponds branch saw activity fall by 26 per cent and Shirehampton was down 22 per cent. Registrations in Bristol as a whole were down 34 per cent. Across the city there was a 42 per cent increase in the number of abandoned sales.
haart’s most recent data shows that in July, London as a whole saw a 5.6 per cent fall in prices – the equivalent of over £30,000 off the average property value (now at £527,349), as the city bares the worst of the post-Brexit uncertainty.
Nationally prices have been more stable in the past month, down 0.9 per cent across England, and now sitting at an average of £233,254. Across London the number of sales was also down 16 per cent in July, while new buyer viewings were down 3.3 per cent. However, across London branches, data suggests that pro-Leave areas are performing better than areas which voted Remain.
In Battersea in south London, which voted 75 per cent for Remain, there was a 38.2 per cent drop in the number of applicants signing up to haart’s local branch. There was a similar story in East London’s Leytonstone branch which voted 59 per cent for Remain –the number of properties listed fell by 20 per cent after the referendum. But in Dagenham, further into the capital’s east and an area which voted 62 per cent for Leave, there was a 1.2 per cent increase in the number of properties listed.
Paul Smith, CEO of haart estate agents, comments: “It’s clear that the ‘winners’ of the EU referendum are feeling much more confident about the future of the property market than those who voted Remain. The doom and gloom of the campaign has obviously had a lasting impact on how Remain voters feel about the economy and the property market, while Leave voters are much more relaxed. The areas that had the strongest Leave vote are even seeing a small surge in activity.
“The reality is that we have a property market heavily driven by sentiment, and it’s the confident Leavers who are currently keeping the market afloat. If the government can continue to provide a strong vision for the UK’s post-Brexit future and a clear timetable for an EU exit, greater stability and confidence will follow, which might reassure Remainers. However, if they can’t be convinced we could see the market and wider economy flat-lining for some time. Nevertheless, the fundamentals of the residential market are strong, with people more determined than ever to get on to and move up the ladder, so we have every reason to be confident. When it comes to Brexit, it seems the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”