- Buyers were unfazed in the lead up to the EU Referendum as sales to first-time buyers were up in June, and demand for housing increased
- However, agents reported uncertainty from sellers, and supply dipped in the week immediately following the result
As the EU Referendum approached in June, demand for housing, supply of available properties, and the number of sales going through were stable. However, immediately following the result, agents witnessed uncertainty from sellers, and supply fell momentarily, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) June Housing Market report1.
In June, estate agents saw an increase in demand overall, suggesting buyers weren’t fazed by the risk of Brexit in the lead-up to the vote. There were an average 330 house hunters registered per member branch last month – an increase of nine per cent from May, when 304 buyers were registered, the lowest number recorded since November 2013. However, although June saw growth in the number of prospective buyers, demand still remains low in comparison to June last year.
Instantly following the Brexit result, three in five (57 per cent) reported a drop in demand from prospective buyers and three in five (58 per cent) saw supply fall in the week immediately following the vote. However, it is expected this will level out in July.
First-time-buyers (FTBs) were not impacted by the Brexit result. Immediately following the result only three in ten (28 per cent) NAEA agents witnessed uncertainty from the group, while a third (30 per cent) of total house sales in June were made to FTBs, the highest number of sales since October last year.
Houses available and sales agreed per branch
The Brexit vote did not affect the number sales that completed in June either, with a total of eight sales completing per branch last month – a figure which has not shifted from May. Further to this, the supply of available housing also remained the same – with an average of 37 properties registered per member branch in June.
Mark Hayward, managing director, National Association of Estate Agents, said: “In periods of extreme political and economic uncertainty, the housing market will always respond. However, it’s a relief to see that looking at the whole month overall, buyers were still keen to buy, sellers were still keen to sell and sales were still going through at the same level as we’d expect.
“It’s only natural that immediately following the vote supply fell but our figures show that the lead up to the vote wasn’t all doom and gloom, which should be a good indication of the months to come. We remain upbeat and need others in the industry to do so as well. The new Housing Minister confirming his commitment to build one million new homes will be encouraging for many buyers, especially those looking to buy their first home. Hopefully we should soon see housing market confidence bouncing back to the levels seen pre-Brexit.”
1 All figures from the NAEA’s June 2016 Housing Market Report
Full NAEA June Housing Market Report available on request. Go on-line at: www.naea.co.uk