The UK’s referendum on whether the country should remain a part of the European Union or leave, which took place at the end of June, has had far-reaching effects in many sectors, and recent figures reveal it’s impacting on property prices throughout the country. Fifty-two percent of those who voted chose to vote Leave, dividing the country, as well as towns, families and neighbourhoods. The long-term effects are still not known, but it appears areas where people voted to leave the EU have been hit hardest in terms of the property market. In fact, of the 47 cities and towns that experienced falling house prices just after the referendum, around 85% voted Leave.
In the year leading up to the referendum, England property prices rose by just over 9% on average. However, figures from July – the first full month after the referendum – revealed that the month-on-month rise had fallen to a far lower 0.4%. The referendum appears to have affected different parts of the country to varying degrees, with many analysts noting that areas that voted to leave the European Union have tended to suffer the most dramatic falls in property prices. While Manchester voted to remain in the EU, some parts of the region voted to leave. These Brexit supporting towns and districts have been the hardest hit by the slow down in house price rises.
Government data reveals that property prices in 47 cities and towns actually dropped immediately after the referendum, and a staggering 40 of these places were among those that voted to exit the EU. One such example is Rochdale, part of Greater Manchester. Rochdale residents voted in favour of leaving the Union, and the town saw a drop in average house prices of over £1,200 in the month after the vote. Similarly, Bury, where just over half of local residents voted in favour of leaving the EU, the average house fell in price by over £1,100.
The government figures also revealed that 278 towns and cities covered by their research saw house prices rise or stay at the same level as before the vote. Of these 278, just 74% had voted to leave the EU. As well as Manchester itself, places such as Stockport and Trafford also voted Remain. All three experienced house price increases in July – £2,222 in Manchester, an impressive £4,000 in Stockport, and £1,344 in Trafford.
The Brexit supporting districts and towns surrounding Manchester may have experienced some falls in property prices in the aftermath of the referendum, but data reveals that it was the north-east of the country that was hit hardest by falling prices. For example, Ribble Valley returned a vote for Leave in the referendum and saw prices drop by nearly £8,000.
Analysts and property industry experts generally believe it is too early to assess what the long-term impact of the referendum result will be, but many are in agreement that those areas that have been hardest hit have so far tended to be those that voted to leave the European Union. Many property experts believe it is likely that house prices will fall in 2017, eventually possibly recovering in the following year.
If you are currently looking to enter the rental property market as a landlord, it’s important to choose your location carefully. This is often fairly straightforward if you live in or near the area you’re planning to buy in, but it can be very difficult if you’re looking further afield for a rental property. The area you choose to buy in will of course depend on your budget and on your target rental market, and while the impact of the referendum result is yet to be fully understood, it’s worth bearing in mind that there might be a fall in EU migrants in the coming months and years. If you were planning to buy in an area with a high proportion of EU workers – for example, near a large hospital where many of the staff are migrant workers – it’s worth bearing in mind that competition among landlords may heat up in the near future. The most sensible course of action is to follow property news – both national and local – and ensure you’re fully informed before you take the plunge.
Becoming a landlord can be an extremely lucrative decision, and property remains one of the best and safest ways to invest. Keeping abreast of Moston property news, and all the local property market developments, will enable you to make the best decisions and enjoy the maximum returns on your investment.