MARCH PRESS ROUND-UPWhat does Brexit mean for the property market? Jeremy Leaf, principal of Jeremy Leaf & Co, told The Daily Telegraph that realism was ‘hitting home’ to many sellers who are starting to appreciate that the first offer they receive ‘could very well be their only one, however unpalatable it may be’.
Nationwide’s latest house-price index showed annual growth of 0.4 per cent in February, and a month-on-month fall of 0.1 per cent. Jeremy Leaf told The Daily Express: ‘The 2019 housing market clearly hasn’t quite taken off in the way many hoped or expected.’
Meanwhile, Halifax told a slightly different story, reporting that house prices rose almost three per cent at the start of 2019 compared to the same period last year. Jeremy Leaf explained in City AM: ‘There is no doubt that the shortage of supply is a significant factor in the uplift.’ He added that he hoped for a ‘more balanced market’ if Brexit negotiations make more progress, saying: ‘The reasons behind [the drop] are certainly not just to do with Brexit as we consistently hear on the doorsteps – affordability and tough lending criteria are other factors.’
There has been a surge in number of people grabbing cheap mortgage deals while they can. Jeremy Leaf told The Mirror: ‘Remortgaging numbers are strong because people are not moving. These figures bear out what we have seen in the property market – that many homeowners are deciding to stay put and remortgage or opt for a product transfer rather than taking on new debt, given the current political and economic uncertainty.’
In his Spring Statement, housing was one area where Philip Hammond made some concrete pledges. Jeremy Leaf told The Evening Standard: ‘Anything which improves the supply of affordable housing is to be welcomed but we have heard it all before. We want to see a timetable for delivery, which will keep prices in check and meet demand irrespective of political and economic uncertainty, rather than just empty promises.’
The thought of owning a seven-bedroom property may seem like something out of reach but they can vary significantly in price. Jeremy Leaf explained in The Daily Mail: ‘A seven-bedroom house in London’s Oakhill Avenue in Hampstead will cost you £10.95m, while a Queen Anne mansion [with the same number of rooms] in South Yorkshire will cost you £1.2m.’