House prices have increased most in Leave areas since the Brexit referendum in 2016. This is despite fears leaving the EU would cause havoc in the property market. What does an expert make of this data?
New research revealed 16 of the top 20 performing areas in terms of average house price growth voted Leave.
In a shocking comparison, 15 of the bottom 20 performing English areas voted to remain.
However, experts have warned that this is unlikely to be the reason from the growth, and Brexit uncertainty is just one factor on house prices.
The East Midlands saw the top growth in house prices since the referendum, with prices in Rutland increasing by 26.27 per cent.
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The latest research by online estate agent Housesimple shows that in general leave voting areas recorded higher average house price increases than remain voting areas since the EU Referendum in June 2016.
Analysing average house price changes in 324 English Local Authority Areas (LAAs) since the EU Referendum many of the top 20 performing areas voted leave, including Rutland (26.27 per cent), Corby (24.8 per cent), Harborough (23.79 per cent), Blaby (21.68 per cent) and Forest of Dean (21.47 per cent), with 10 of the top 20 performing LAAs based in the East Midlands.
Only four Remain-voting LAAs made it into the top 20, including best performer Cotswolds (30.45 per cent), Leicester (21.57 per cent), Rushcliffe (19.62 per cent) and Stroud (19.35 per cent).
In disheartening news, average house prices in London and the South East have been hardest hit since the crucial vote in 2016.
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Twelve of the worst performing 20 areas are in London, including the City of London (-11.86 per cent), Westminster (-10.08 per cent), and Hammersmith & Fulham (-8.20 per cent), while commuter belt LAAs Bracknell Forest (-6.63 per cent), Elmbridge (-4.32 per cent), and Windsor & Maidenhead (-0.66 per cent) also recorded price drops.
However, there are more forces than Brexit in play when it comes to influencing house prices.
These include the greater impact of stamp duty above £500k, long-term housing demand/supply dynamics, wider economic conditions and the availability of finance
Sam Mitchell, CEO at Housesimple, said: “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.”
“The data points to an overall North-South divide. Brexit uncertainty does not appear to have affected the North to the extent that we may be seeing in the South. Other Important factors underpin these findings, including punitive stamp duty that has a lower impact on properties valued under £500,000 so 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.
“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? Keep going and find an estate agent that makes the process simple, transparent and free.”
Where have house prices grown the most since the Brexit vote?
East Midlands -16.22 per cent
West Midlands – 14.02 per cent
North West – 13.53 per cent
South West – 11.64 per cent
Yorkshire – 10.25 per cent
East of England – 10.05 per cent
South East – 6.92 per cent
North East – 6.18 per cent
London – 0.99 per cent