Brexit Day – returning confidence to the housing market…

With all the political uncertainty surrounding Brexit at the back end of last year the housing market and consumer confidence had taken a bit of a battering.

The Financial Times reported that the nervousness around the UK’s departure from the EU dissuaded housebuyers at the end of the last decade — the weakest for house price growth since the 1990s. Prices rose just 33 per cent in the 2010s, compared with 180 per cent in the 1980s.

However, the decisive outcome of the general election in December quickly provided the confidence that was lacking.

Following the election, the largest residential purchase by value was completed in Westminster for £39,500,000 and the phrase “The Boris Bounce” came into use.

Growth in UK house prices picked up this month in a sign of renewed confidence in the sector.  According to the latest Nationwide house price index they were up 1.9 per cent in January compared with the same month last year, rising from 1.4 per cent in December.

The average house price also increased this month by 0.5% and was £215,897 in January, compared with £215,282 the previous month.

The general business sentiments across the housing and finance markets are that ‘as long as the pound holds its current levels’ the new wave of optimism and consumer confidence will make 2020 a very buoyant first year outside of the EU.  As a barometer of the market, we have witnessed increasing levels of demand for residential conveyancing services supporting this, coupled with continued robust work levels in the commercial market.

Although Brexit Day still leaves plenty of unanswered questions for Boris to deal with in the next few weeks in terms of trade agreements and ongoing European involvement, it certainly marks the start of a new chapter for the housing sector.

Christian Lister, Operations Director