8th January 2019
Developers and agents alike are reporting of slowing sales in London and the south-east due to Brexit uncertainties. Crest Nicholson, a British house building company, has resorted to dropping its prices in the most expensive areas of London, where the effects of affordability is felt most.
That being said, as dreary as the market may seem, a combination of the fall in prices and the crackdown on buy-to-let investors is bringing some hope to first-time buyers. Previously where people were able to come up with their 10% deposit, they would swiftly be outbid by landlords who had more disposable income. The 3% stamp duty surcharge, and the change to the taxation of buy to let income seem to have reduced the appeal. The lack of activity in the buy-to-let market has translated into a 0.1% drop in prices for properties with two or less bedrooms.
Reports show that first time buyers and other buyers with small deposits held a bigger stake of the housing market in September 2018 and overall mortgage approvals were higher as well; suggesting that young buyers may have been helped onto the ladder by the slowing property price growth across the country along with the slow down in the buy-to-let market.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has said that Brexit uncertainty has crushed confidence in the property market. However, based on the above, it is clearly something that can be taken advantage of, in a positive way for so long as it lasts.
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