To move or not to move? That is the Brexit question
The countdown to Brexit on March 29 is speeding up, so what should people who want to move house do?
Should people hold off putting those for sale signs up until the summer?
A study by the HomeOwners Alliance found that just 11 per cent of people said their decision to stay where they are was based on concerns over Brexit, with more popular answers relating to lack of suitable homes and property prices.
Russell Quirk said: “This research shows that Brexit isn’t the driving factor behind many UK home sellers looking to move or stay put and while we have seen the market slow due to the uncertain future of our partnership with the EU, the market is showing positive signs of recovery across the board.
“While this may strengthen once a Brexit deal is finalised there is no guarantee as to the outcome, and so those looking to sell should rest assured that now is as good a time as any to sell their home and later might not necessarily be better.”
Property commentator and buying agent Henry Pryor told the HomeOwners Alliance that he didn’t think that Brexit would have an impact straight away.
“Just like New Years Eve 1999 when people wondered if planes would fall out of the sky or if their microwave would stop working because of the Millennium Bug I expect that March 29 will have a similar effect.
“Who seriously ‘knows’ what the impact of our actual divorce from Europe will be?
“The three D’s will continue to provide a supply of sellers over the next year – death, debt and divorce won’t wait for Mrs May and Co to sort this out but there will be far fewer buyers who ‘must’ purchase.
“As a professional buyer, I am expecting to be especially busy as the more squeamish buyers ask for help making what in more normal times might be considered insulting offers. Brexiteers may claim that like other ‘Project Fear’ predictions the anticipated damage to house prices has not been felt but I suspect they will be a bit more muted in a years time.”
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If the Government negotiates a deal with the EU before March nothing will change until December 31, 2020.
The overriding answer seems to be that there is too much uncertainty at the moment so if you feel it is the right time to move, do it.
But what about mortgages?
In 2018 the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy committee increased rates to 0.75 per cent in August, so could Brexit impact on this?
David Hollingworth, mortgage expert at London & Country said: “The direction of travel for rates has been a gradual increase but like any forecast for 2019, it’s impossible to avoid the question of Brexit and how that might influence rate movements.
“If the exit is a disorderly one there could be further weakening in the pound, resulting in upward pressure on inflation.
“Higher inflation would typically be countered by higher interest rates but it’s also possible that the Bank will look through that and could even cut rates if it feels that the economy is in need of support, just as it did following the referendum in 2016.
“The mortgage market remains very competitive, so borrowers have the chance to take action and remove any guesswork by fixing their rate at a competitive level.”
The HomeOwners Alliance champions the interests of Britain's homeowners and aspiring homeowners, providing unbiased and practical advice as well as services you can trust whether you are buying, selling or owning your home. For more information, visit hoa.org.uk