"Brexit uncertainty is causing a measurable slowdown across the UK housing market as potential buyers and sellers adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach."
Mortgage advisers anticipate virtually no growth in business levels in the first quarter of 2019 as Brexit sparks a slowdown in the housing market, according to research from Paragon.
This puts expected growth in mortgage transactions at their lowest level since the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008.
According to mortgage advisers, Brexit uncertainty has impacted property demand, prices and availability and will continue to weigh heavily on the housing market until a definitive outcome is reached.
Looking back over the second half of 2018, 57% of advisers felt that Brexit had a negative impact on demand for properties, 56% said it had put downward pressure on house prices and 44% reported a dampening effect on the availability of property. In contrast, only 5% highlighted a positive impact against any of these factors.
When asked about the impact Brexit was likely to have on the market in the early part of 2019, the overall expectation was that the negative effect would intensify before things got better.
Interestingly, despite the market disruption, very few advisers said they would take the opportunity to change the way they voted in the referendum if given the chance. Just under half (47%) said they would still vote to remain, one third (33%) reported that they would still vote to leave and an equal proportion – 3% in each case – said they would switch their vote. The remaining 14% opted to keep their preference private.
John Heron, managing director of mortgages at Paragon, said: “Brexit uncertainty is causing a measurable slowdown across the UK housing market as potential buyers and sellers adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach. As political negotiations move into the final phase, hopes are high for a workable solution and a much-anticipated Brexit bounce.”