First-time Buyer 

Brexit deters thousands of first-time buyers

Brexit deters thousands of first-time buyers

Thousands of aspiring first-time buyers are postponing purchasing a property with the majority believing prices will drop following the UK’s departure from the European Union, a financial services provider has claimed.

Research released by One Family today (January 9) suggested at least 136,000 would-be first-time buyers are delaying their purchase due to political uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

The research found 55 per cent of first-time buyers are postponing the process because they believe they will get more for their money if prices drop after 29 March this year.

One Family attributed this uncertainty as contributing to the slowdown in the UK property market, with Halifax reporting house price growth slowed to its lowest rate in six years at the end of last year.

But One Family's research also showed one in five first-time buyers will proceed to buy a property before Brexit, with 29 per cent citing they did not mind losing money on their ideal home.

Nici Audhlam-Gardiner, managing director of Lifetime Isas at One Family, said: "At times of uncertainty it is always hard to know what to do, and many would be homeowners would benefit from the reassurance of speaking to a financial adviser to help them understand the options available to them.

"While any market fluctuation as a result of Brexit could give first-time buyers a golden opportunity to get on the housing ladder, it could just as easily make it harder."

David Hollingworth, associate director of communications at London & Country Mortgages, said he believes first-time buyer demand and activity has held up surprisingly well, with aspiring buyers clearly not losing the ambition to purchase their own home.  

He said: "The current uncertainty created by Brexit is likely to see some home-movers, including first time buyers, take a wait and see approach. 

"The indices continue to show a varied regional picture when it comes to house prices so there’s no guarantee that first time buyers will see big drops in prices and the lack of available property is likely to support prices. 

"Nonetheless first time buyers are likely to feel less pressure to move quickly and will feel more confident that they can continue to build their deposit in a market that many expect will generally be flat."

rachel.addison@ft.com