London Bears the Brunt as Brexit Divides U.K. Housing Market

Chaplin: Peak of London Commercial Property Was 2014
  • ‘Remain’ and ‘Leave’ areas see diverging trends: Haart
  • Prices drop 5.6% in London, outpacing national decline

Brexit is having an uneven impact on the U.K. housing market, with pro-Remain areas such as London taking the brunt of falling confidence, according to estate-agency chain Haart.

Using data on registrations, sales and listing across 20 local branches, it found that regions that supported Britain exiting the European Union have seen more buoyant property-market activity, while areas that voted “Remain” have seen the reverse.

Outlets in areas that voted to stay posted a 6 percent drop in the number of properties being put up for sale after the June 23 referendum, along with a 50 percent jump in the number of canceled transactions, Haart said in a statement. In contrast, “Leave” areas saw property listings increase and cancellations little changed. The divergence was also reflected in prices, with a 5.6 percent drop in London in July, almost six times the national figure, according to Haart.

The survey may indicate a difference in outlook between those on opposing sides of the campaign, with those supporting “Leave” more optimistic and those on the “Remain” side more pessimistic. While Brexit has led to an overall drop in confidence among consumers and curbed demand for property, “Leave” areas are showing signs of greater resilience, Haart said.

“We have a property market heavily driven by sentiment, and it’s the confident Leavers who are currently keeping the market afloat,” said Haart Chief Executive Officer Paul Smith. “The doom and gloom of the campaign has obviously had a lasting impact on how ‘Remain’ voters feel about the economy and the property market.”

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