‘Prime Minister Theresa May must deliver on Brexit this week and restore public confidence in the economy if the housing market is to return to health’, says Move iQ founder and TV presenter Phil Spencer.
He says the country needs clarity about where the UK is heading and that whichever result achieves this the fastest “has to be good for the property market” whatever the outcome.
So, what does this mean for hopeful buyers? Let’s dig a little deeper…
The twists and turns of the housing market
Phil says the housing market has endured enough surprises including Brexit, a recent interest rates rise and stamp duty increases. “The twists and turns of the last few years have fatigued many would-be buyers and a calm period for people to plan their moves with a reasonable degree of confidence is needed.”
“If the market stabilises there is a good chance that those who have been sitting on the fence for so long will jump off and we may see an uptick in stock and transaction levels.”
First-time buyers who are inexperienced with the property market are often the most confused by the situation.
Is there a North-South divide?
One of the results of this lack of confidence has been to drive a wedge between the Northern and Southern halves of England, particularly for first time buyers.
Research by the Office of National Statistics earlier this year revealed that homes in the south cost on average 13 times local salaries for those aged between 22 and 29 years old, while in the North it’s just 5.5.
How will Brexit affect this?
Phil reckons a ‘bad Brexit’ could make this situation worse. “There is no escaping the intrinsic links the South has to the financial services industry, which could be disproportionately affected by a hard Brexit,” he says. “Given the risks affecting this sector and the number of jobs and earnings linked to it, one can see why the South has underperformed.
“The North of the country by contrast has less links with this sector so has been able to better weather the Brexit storm.”
This affordability gap has been intensified by lower house prices on average in the North compared to the South but has also prompted a flurry of investment and activity in many Northern urban areas and particularly in Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham.
“These trends are further supported by significant infrastructure projects like HS2 and the Northern Powerhouse deals,” says Phil.
How can Move iQ help?
It’s easy to see why so many buyers feel lost when it comes to navigating the property market.
While we can’t help negotiate a good deal for the country, we can help you buy a home. From house viewings to moving day, we’re armed with plenty of handy advice to help you along the way. Find more of our home buyer research tips here.