Brexit  

What long-term impact will Brexit have on property?

This article is part of
Guide to buying property in a Brexit world

Some financial groups have said they are exploring the prospect of moving their European headquarters to another city in Europe, while others are expanding their operations in Frankfurt already as they prepare a post-Brexit European hub for their business.

“The area most vulnerable to an unfavourable Brexit negotiation is London,” warns James Allen, head of Walker Crips Alternative Investments.

“The City requires access to Europe and beyond to maintain its position as one of the dominant financial centres of the world. Should the City come under sustained attack from our European neighbours then not only would property in London become less attractive, the loss of revenue would have a massive impact on GDP and the exchequer.”

He suggests: “This, in turn, could precipitate a recession and during recessions there are more people who default on mortgages. So in the medium term, a bad deal could create further weakness in the UK property market. 

“In the long term, property prices in the UK are more affected by lack of supply than any other factor. With tightened immigration and a lack of skilled labour from the continent there will be little chance of addressing the lack of housing supply.”

London market

Alex Gosling, chief executive at HouseSimple.com, agrees: “If the City sees a mass exodus of workers relocating to France, Germany and other EU countries, that could have a significant impact on the London property market.

"Similarly, foreign investors who have pumped money into London property over the past 10 years - considering it a safe haven - may take flight. That could hit the top end of the London property market, which could work its way down the property chain.”

Crucially, he adds: “But no-one really knows if the City will lose thousands of workers when we leave the EU.”

Mr Gosling argues the property market in the UK is now less reliant on the London market than it was post-financial crisis, for example, to prop up prices.

He explains: “A decade on, there isn't such a reliance on strong London house price growth to support regional markets. In fact, it's the capital's property market that has stalled, while regional property markets are prospering. 

“This can be partly attributed to the growth of regional business hubs, such as Manchester, Cambridge and Bristol, offering good job prospects and affordable housing.”

A shortage of affordable housing has long been a problem in the UK.

Final deal

As Mr Gauge points out, if immigration were to slow down over the long term as a result of the Brexit deal secured by the UK government, or simply as a side effect of the referendum itself, then there could be another issue.