Brexit boost for first-time buyers

In the month following the UK’s historic decision to leave the EU, the housing market has handed a surprising boost to first-time buyers.  

According to the latest research from Connells Survey and Valuation, in July the number of all property valuations fell by 2% when compared to the same month last year.

This reflects a slight cooling compared to June; in the month of the referendum itself, the twelve-month rate of growth in total valuation activity had previously stood at +4% in June 2016.

John Bagshaw, Corporate Services Director of Connells Survey & Valuation, comments: “Judging the Brexit effect might take years – but in the meantime the first full month after the vote already looks encouraging.”

“The initial post-Brexit clouds are already blowing over,” according to Mr Bagshaw, “this is a time of change, so short-term eddies shouldn’t be taken as a set direction of travel.”

There were 12% more first-time buyer valuations in July 2016 than in July 2015. Meanwhile, remortgaging activity also saw the same 12% annual rate of growth.

Mr Bagshaw adds: “First-time buyers are continuing to make the most of government schemes and are now boosted by even lower mortgage rates this summer. This is the same development that is proving a boost for remortgagors, also benefitting from a new wave of even better mortgage deals.”

Those already on the property ladder looking to move home appear to have been slightly more cautious in July than those making their first step. Compared to the same month in 2015, home mover valuations have fallen in number by 8%.

Similarly, buy-to-let activity has been relatively cooler in July than at the same point a year ago. The total number of valuations for buy-to-let purchases has now fallen by 41% since July 2015.

John Bagshaw concludes: “It won’t be until the coming months and years that real trends will start to emerge for the post-Brexit property reality. But in the meantime, people will still need properties, and the housing market is proving resilient.”


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