Housing Market after Brexit – On Thursday 23rd June 2016, against all the odds, and contrary to everything the pollsters told us, the unthinkable happened: vast swathes of England and Wales voted to leave the European Union. By a tiny majority the Leavers got it. The ramifications are frightening.
Already, Scotland, Northern Ireland and even London are making claims for independence. The divisions caused by this referendum will likely precipitate the break-up of the UK. How could any responsible government allow this to happen? And, importantly, what plans are in place to deal with the aftermath? Watching Nigel Farage gleefully calling for 23rd June to be called Independence Day led me to concur with a senior Tory from the Remain camp that “…the lunatics are now in charge of the asylum.”
Adopting a more detached view, what are the implications? Instability and uncertainty prevail. Stock-markets throughout the world have seen trillions of dollars wiped out in hours; the pressure on sterling is unprecedented; and even our national credit-rating is under threat. The prospect of recession grows ever more real. In addition, EU member countries such as France and Germany are unlikely to extend much sympathy. They will not want other countries to follow our example.
Thus, we can expect restrictions on trade agreements which have been nurtured over the years. We could be denied access to a market-place upon which we depend. (Do people realise, for example, that we currently export more to tiny Luxembourg than to India?) The loss of such export opportunities will inevitably impact on jobs.
In our sector it is feared that rising unemployment will cause deflation in the housing market. The elasticity of demand dictates that more properties competing for fewer customers will cause house prices to fall. Remove the buoyancy from the market-place and this becomes a reality.
In terms of National Property Trade and the housing market after Brexit, business activity is strong.
Investors have the opportunity to invest and work with us as we investigate market stress. There will also be some benefits from the FX side, where opportunities are attractive to foreign investors.
The market is suffering by the fall-out resulting from SDLT change, and Brexit will exacerbate that position. Government may in hindsight wish that both were not executed so closely together. Risking both almost simultaneously was a risk and this is further hampering stability.
Although the market is fearful, we at National Property Trade are calm, clear and confident. Our message is simple:
We are a well-funded business with global shareholders and unlike many of our competitors will continue to buy, as we did during the 2008-10 recession.
Vendors can sell quickly to us and avoid the risks of uncertainty. We are fortunate in that we can take a longer view of the market; however each day a seller waits, it may cost more as uncertainty grows and valuations fall. By selling fast to National Property Trade these risks are eliminated.
Sterling lost 5-10% overnight; FTSE, Dow Jones & Global indexes are down 5-10% during that same period. Banking groups have suffered some of the biggest losses. This is expected to impact negatively on the housing market for the foreseeable future. Lenders are notorious for clamping down on lending where they are not comfortable. Our progression team reports that this is already happening.
It is essential that vendors:
1) Ensure they are selling to a cash buyer
2) Ensure the buyer is well-funded and reliable
3) Ensure the buyer does not rely on third-party funding they do not control
4) Sell to an established and experienced market-leader who has the money because fundraising in this climate is challenging
The result of the referendum is not one we would have chosen but we must accept it and move on. As always, we are ready to buy, whenever sellers need us.
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