Brexit has played a negative role in house prices in southern England as new data revealed downturn in the market since the 2016 referendum.
Leading up to the vote house prices across the south of England powered ahead achieving an increase of £1.04tn in the value of housing stock.
But since the June 2016 vote things have not been as impressive as the value of housing in London, the Southeast, East and Southwest regions, has risen by 4.3 per cent or £192bn, less than one-fifth of its growth in the previous three years.
The estate agent which carried out the research (Savills) states that the value of housing in London has fallen in the past year by £40bn (down 2.2 per cent), while the Southeast has dropped by £7bn (a fall of 0.5 per cent).
That is worrying because it means that over the past three years, there has been a £6bn drop in London values.
Looking at the 406 local authorities that make up the UK, Savills found 40 of these local markets had seen the value of housing stock decline since the Brexit vote, by just under £50bn.
Savills’ research included data from the Office for National Statistics, Land Registry and Registers of Scotland.
Director of residential research at Savills Lucian Cook claims political uncertainty over Brexit had fed into the housing market in the three years since the vote, potentially triggering a longer-term change in the market cycle.
“Given the extent to which London is priced relative to the rest of the country — the extent to which it had pulled away from the rest — the Brexit vote may well have been the catalyst for a shift in the market.
“We face heightened uncertainty over what a new prime minister will mean for Brexit, the economy and, critically, tax policy, which suggests the prime markets will remain price sensitive across the remainder of 2019,” he told the Financial Times.
There was more disappointing news as according to new figures property sales across cities in southern England have fallen by 13% on average since 2015.
A new Zoopla index – which looks at the UK’s 20 biggest cities – found homes have fallen by 13% in three years.
On average, sales increased by 6% across cities in northern England over the three years.
Sales in London and Cambridge are down 20% on 2015 levels.
By contrast, transactions in Liverpool have increased by 19% over the same period and those in Newcastle have increased by 5%.
As well as a big jump in sales, Liverpool also had the strongest annual house price growth in March among the 20 cities in the index, with a 5.7% year-on-year price increase taking the average property value there to £122,100.
Leicester, Manchester and Glasgow also recorded house price growth of 5% or slightly more in March but homes in southern England were not good.
And prices are likely to continue falling for another six months in the UK and for the whole of 2019 in London and the south-east, according to another industry survey.
Separate official data shows that rents are also falling, with tenants typically paying £757 a month, down from £772 a year ago, continuing a pattern of declines that began after the Brexit vote in 2016.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) said that its poll of surveyors found a subdued picture across the UK, with sales weak and an eighth successive month of falling inquiries from buyers.
The average time it takes to sell a property remains unchanged at 19 weeks, the joint longest period since the RICS started recording the data in 2017. It added that it takes longest to sell a home in the south-east of England, at 21.5 weeks on average.
And house prices in London are falling at the fastest rate in a decade.
According to the Nationwide House Price index, prices over the first three months of 2019 in London dropped 3.8 percent in value, compared to the same period in 2018. The biggest drop since 2009.
The average house price in London during the first quarter of 2019 was £455,594, according to one of Britain’s biggest mortgage lenders.
England recorded its first annual price fall since 2012, with prices down 0.7 percent when compared to the first quarter of last year. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all enjoyed price gains.
A recent survey of U.K. residential property from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) concluded that Brexit is currently the main obstacle for market activity.
More than the three quarters of estate agents that were asked, said uncertainty over how the U.K. leaves the European Union was holding back both buyers and sellers of property.
And with house prices struggling in southern England, people in negative equality will wander how they will escape from their property trap?
But what is negative equity?
A property is in negative equity if it’s worth less than the mortgage secured against it.
An example of this if you had bought a property for £180,000, with a mortgage for £165,000 and the property is now worth £100,000, you would be in negative equity by £65,000.
It’s estimated that there are around half a million properties in negative equity across the UK, although some areas are affected far more than others.
Here CD Fairfield Executive Director Phil Davison explains what www.negativeequityuk.co.uk can deliver for their clients.
“As a client of CD Fairfield all options in the UK property debt market are available to you here. We are the only company in the UK at this present time that offers that scope of service,” he added.
But many people wonder why would a bank write-down a debt?
“We get asked that question all the time and the answer is quite simple. In the first instance, the bank lent money based on affordability criteria.
“If one of our clients’ affordability has changed due to circumstances beyond their control then the banks are obliged to look at it again.”
“If you find yourself in negative equity what is the first step in the process of getting you back on track?
“A case review consists of three separate pieces of work. The first piece of work is to establish “how did we get here? “
“The second piece of work is “where are we now?” and what is our current state of affordability? And the third piece of work is what is the best way forward.”
And what protection will you have if you use CD Fairfield?
“The protection you have as a customer of CD Fairfield is that we are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for all our work in the UK.
“This means that we are submit to stringent regulation and reporting measures, as well as clients having access to the Financial Ombudsman Service if they are unhappy. You can have total peace of mind about the work we do,” Davison added.