The latest figures published by Rightmove suggest that nationally the housing market has shrugged off uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum. However, London has clearly bucked the upward trend with steep falls in a number of boroughs, which suggests that buyer momentum has been lost with uncertainty in the market.
Referendum-related uncertainty is also showing fewer new sellers (particularly overseas investors) coming to market with many sitting tight until the outcome is known. One hopes that this reluctance among buyers and sellers to commit to deals is just shot term!
As the quote from the Rightmove director suggests, a remain vote is likely to mean that the housing markets returns to its status quo while a leave vote could mean further uncertainty (particularly in London) and therefore potentially serious repercussions. This could mean gains made to date in house prices being reversed. It could also mean developers at the top end of the market having to find other sweetners (in addition to flat pack furniture, stamp duty payments etc. that are already offered by some) to lure more investors and revive the waning market.
However, in light of the latest figures published today, whether the impact of a leave vote will be felt across the national property market or just in London is something we have to wait and see!
The headline figures do not suggest that the looming EU referendum is having an impact on buyers’ decisions, but Rightmove said there were signs that sellers were sitting tight until the outcome is known.