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Mrs. H, Devon

Brexit warning: expect lower sales and housing values into 2019

With only 100 days until the deadline for Brexit expires, a new report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) warns sellers and agents alike to prepare for a difficult market throughout 2019.

In a survey carried out in November this year, surveyors from across the UK are extremely pessimistic regarding the future of the housing market over the next two years as Theresa May’s government continues its push for a deal before the country crashes out of the EU without the necessary trade agreements in place.

As time passes, it appears to be more and more likely that a second referendum is on the cards if ministers vote against the PM’s exit strategy in mid-January. Unfortunately for those who are hoping to sell their house fast due to a change in job location or family circumstances, the outlook is more than a little worrying for at least the first three months of 2019.

The greatest concern for many is that if no deal is reached by 29 March, then house values could plummet by as much as a third – plunging many new homeowners into negative equity.

While there is always the chance that the market will bounce back if the UK ends up staying in the EU, for the most part, all bets are off until parliament reaches a consensus.

“It is evident from the feedback to the latest RICS survey that the ongoing uncertainties surrounding how the Brexit process plays out is taking its toll on the housing market,” said Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

“Indeed, I can’t recall a previous survey when a single issue has been highlighted by quite so many contributors.”

And the issues are likely to affect not only venders who need to sell, but also estate agents, who may find themselves closing their doors as market activity continues to fall.

So, what can homeowners who need to sell do to ensure high sold house prices? One of the most straightforward approaches is to contact a company such as National Homebuyers, who are capable of completing a sale in as little as two weeks – regardless of condition or location.

Worryingly, the report has also highlighted the RICS’ concern regarding the effects of Brexit anxiety on the housebuilding industry – with companies such as Barrett, Bovis, and Redrow likely to hold back plans for further development until the dust has cleared.

While the fall in housing values is likely to hit the south of England hardest, it appears that agents across the UK are preparing for the worst.

“The Brexit negotiations are now becoming farcical and affecting confidence,” said Mark Hunter of Grice and Hunter Estate Agents in Doncaster.

“The thought that anything could happen in the next few months is a very worrying prospect.”

Worried about your house losing value? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.

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