With the outcome of Brexit hanging in the balance, ‘Leave’ voting areas have recorded higher average house price increases than ‘Remain’ voting areas since the EU Referendum in June 2016.
That is according to the latest research by online estate agent Housesimple, which analysed average house price changes in 324 Local Authority Areas (LAAs) since the initial vote.
It found that 16 of the top 20 performing LLAs voted Leave, including Rutland (26.27%), Corby (24.8%), Harborough (23.79%), Blaby (21.68%) and Forest of Dean (21.47%). Some 10 of the top 20 performing LLAs are based in the East Midlands.
Only four Remain voting LLAs made it into the top 20, including Cotswolds (30.45%), Leicester (21.57%), Rushcliffe (19.62%) and Stroud (19.35%).
Meanwhile, average house prices in London and the South East have been hardest hit since the 2016 vote. Some 12 of the worst-performing 20 LLAs are in the capital, including the City of London (-11.86%), Westminster (-10.08%), and Hammersmith & Fulham (-8.20%).
Commuter belt LLAs Bracknell Forest (-6.63%), Elmbridge (-4.32%) and Windsor & Maidenhead (-0.06%) also saw price falls.
Sam Mitchell, chief executive officer at Housesimple, comments: “It is important to remember that correlation does not always equal causality. Just voting Leave hasn’t made your house more valuable on its own. There are a range of reasons driving house prices in England.”
He says the overall North-South divide, for example, could be down to ‘punitive’ stamp duty that appears to have a lower impact on properties valued under £500,000. Therefore, there is less of a ‘drag factor’ in the North.
“We’re also seeing a longer-term trend whereby house price growth in London and the South East that really took off in 2012 has been slowing to more sustainable levels since 2016, or even dropping in some London LAAs.”
Mitchell continues: “At the same time properties in the North and the Midlands saw more modest growth post 2007, and cities like Manchester, Liverpool, Leicester and Leeds have robust local economies and increasing demand for housing which has helped to drive double digit price increases since the referendum.”
“The bottom line is that despite the fact Brexit uncertainty will now drag on into 2020, the market fundamentals – a long-running supply and demand issue, historically low interest rates and growing income levels – remain in place.”
“Life goes on, people still need to buy and sell. Why put your life on hold for Brexit?”