Brexit has divided the nation along political and geographic lines and that includes the property industry, research by the Guild of Property Professionals reveals.
The stark division between agents enjoying thriving trading conditions despite Brexit uncertainty, and those coping with subdued markets is highlighted by the Guild’s latest National Advisory Council (NAC) update on the first time buyer market.
“Over the past couple of years, the government’s initiatives to increase first-time buyer activity in the market has borne fruit with the numbers of first-time buyers at a 12-year high,” says Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild.
“However, concerns regarding Brexit and its implications on the housing market has had an impact and first-time buyer numbers have dwindled in certain areas.”
Leave and remain
But comments from members of the NAC reveal a clear difference between agents operating in remain and leave areas.
This includes largely urban remain voting areas including London and Brighton & Hove as well as Newcastle upon Tyne, one of the North East’s few remain strongholds. These areas are seeing decreasing first time buyer activity, the Guild members say.
But agents from its NAC operating in leave dominated areas including Wakefield, Bedfordshire, Wales, North Devon and Somerset say first time buyers are generally ignoring the ‘Brexit blues’.
“First-time buyers are not worried in the slightest by Brexit, as employment levels are stable,” says Simon Miller of Holroyd Miller in Wakefield (left).
“Brexit has not had a great impact on the area overall and first-time buyers are carrying on as they always have, with no hesitation.”