Leading estate agency Haart has today put the weight of its 150 branches behind an upbeat assessment of the property market since the EU Referendum, claiming buyers remain ‘defiant’ two years on from the vote.
The company also attacks HM Treasury for its report published in May 2016 which predicted significant problems for the housing market following a Brexit decision.
HM Treasury claimed at the time that higher costs of lending would reduce demand for homes and that prices could drop by between 10% and 18%.
Instead, Haart says its research shows that prices have increased by 9% following the Brexit vote and that the company has seen transactions “at their highest for two years”.
“EU or no-EU the need to move home will always be there,” says Paul Smith, CEO of Haart.
“Brits move for a whole host of reasons including good schools, new jobs and better transport links.
“‘Brexit’ is not a word our branches are hearing on the ground anymore, but instead, customers are much more focused on what is happening with interest rates and stamp duty, and for investors, the recent tax changes.”
But another report published at the same time as Haart’s this morning paints a very different picture, particularly within London and its prime postcodes.
The report, from investment advisors London Central Portfolio in conjunction with Acadata, says that the number of transactions in prime central London has fallen to an all-time low and that just 70 homes are sold there every week.
It also says that in London overall transactions have fallen by 7.6% year on year and in the UK by 3.2% “as uncertainty persists”.
“It is hard to see how this decline in transactions can be reversed until there is an agreed outline plan for Brexit,” says Naomi Heaton, CEO of LCP.
“International buyers, already affected by successive tax increases and now exposed to negative coverage of the current political situation, are holding back.”