In the aftermath of last Friday’s seismic events – the Leave vote
and David Cameron’s resignation – the property world is attempting
to settle down to the new ‘normal’, whatever that may be.
The task has not been helped by decidedly mixed media commentary
over the last few days.
Mortgage costs are going up – or down (as early as this week,
according to Ray Boulger of John Charcol).
Buyers are pulling out of deals – or going ahead.
Deals collapsed on Friday morning. Deals went ahead. Prices were
being re-negotiated downwards. But also upwards (Hamptons
International reported that two European buyers raised their offers
on homes in central London because currency movements would
compensate for the increase).
The London property market is dead in the water. On the other hand,
foreign buyers are snapping up London property because the fall in
the pound has made it so much cheaper.
House prices will fall (by 5% outside London says KPMG, 10% by
Christmas says Henry Pryor and 18% if you ever believed George
Osborne). House prices will not fall because the market remains
under-pinned by a lack of supply.
There will be a recession (Royal Asset Management). Or not (asset
manager Old Mutual UK Alpha which believes that the Leave vote is
nowhere near being a second Lehman moment).
So, is the property market “facing a Darwinian future of victims,
survivors and predators” (Jonathan Hopper of Garrington Property
Finders)? Or has the threat been well and truly over-blown?
Realistically, it remains far too early to say what will happen in
the residential property industry.
A number of posts on our running Brexit story on Friday were both
stoic and positive in equal measures – despite much negative
Paul Smith, CEO of Spicerhaart, has since welcomed the Leave result
and called for confidence within the industry.
He said: “We’ve grasped a huge opportunity for the UK and we have
every reason to be confident about the long-term success of the
“The underlying strength of property is sound, and it will remain a
great investment because more people than ever are looking to get
on to the ladder and there simply aren’t enough homes
“In the short term, things could be turbulent as people come to
terms with a result that wasn’t expected. But we now have some
“It’s up to the Government to lay out a clear timetable for
renegotiation of our relationship with the EU so that we can get on
with doing what British people are very good at – buying and
selling houses. Smart buyers stand to gain from the uncertainty of
others in the weeks ahead, and confident sellers may find that they
are in a good position as others wobble.
“House prices may go up and down as they always have, but demand
pressures will sustain prices over the long term. We’re on course
to see the greatest investment since the war, and residential
property continue to pay off for home owners.
“Britain should be confident. We are an economic powerhouse and we
will continue to be a magnet for international investment.”
Dexters chief executive Jeff Doble, with over 60 offices across
London, said that “several dozen” sales were agreed on Friday, and
that his message is to keep calm and carry on.
He said: “Following months of will we/won’t we, the Referendum is
now out of the way and there is no longer a compelling reason to
wait and see.
“After some short-lived hesitation from buyers and investors we
expect prices to remain steady and then rise gradually in 2017.
“We have spoken to literally hundreds of investors, property
developers and buyers and they are overwhelmingly pressing on with
“Buyers and, in particular, international investors, continue to
see London as a safe long-term investment, with reliable returns
from a vibrant letting market.
“London will no doubt reflect – then realise that property prices
aren’t going to change much and nor are the prospects for London
property over the coming years.
“At Dexters it is business as usual. Life and the market will