Brexit boost for first-time buyers

Permitted development rights are set to be extended in the autumn. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Permitted development rights are set to be extended in the autumn. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Brexit has been a boon for first-time buyers and remortgagers, according to figures for the first full month since the Referendum.

There were 12 per cent more first-time buyer valuations in July 2016 than in July 2015, while remortgaging activity saw the same 12 per cent annual rate of growth.

The base rate falling to a record low of 0.25 per cent has also boosted first-time buyers, who are continuing to take advantage of government schemes and reduced mortgage rates.

Research from Connells Survey and Valuation shows that the number of property valuations as a whole fell by 2 per cent year-on-year in July – a slight cooling compared to June, when the 12 month rate of growth in total valuation activity stood at +4 per cent.

John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey and Valuation, said: “Judging the Brexit effect might take years – but in the meantime the first full month after the vote already looks encouraging.

“Any clouds of uncertainty are showing their silver lining for first time buyers, if anything dealt an advantage as some other buyers paused for thought in the weeks immediately after the result. If longer-term economic issues are on the horizon, first time buyers aren’t feeling the effects yet.

John adds: “It won’t be until the coming months and years that real trends will start to emerge for the post-Brexit property reality. But in the meantime, people will still need properties, and the housing market is proving resilient.”

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Those already on the property ladder and looking to move have been more cautious, however – mover valuations have fallen by 8 per cent year-on-year.

Similarly, buy-to-let activity has been cooler in July than at the same point a year ago, with the total number of valuations for buy-to-let purchases falling by 41 per cent since July 2015.

John concludes: “Buy-to-let activity is steady post-Brexit vote, even if at a level lower than last year. In fact this correction is not new, and mainly not as a result of Referendum uncertainty.

“Since April, held back by the Government’s 3 per cent Stamp Duty surcharge, some landlords are pausing for thought. Looking ahead, tax changes are increasingly factored in to landlords’ investment plans which forms a strong core of buy-to-let activity focused on the long-term and a solid basis of future growth in demand for valuations from landlords.”