Most would-be house buyers have moved on from the shock result of the EU referendum and are likely to renew their efforts to purchase a new home, claims an agency chief.
Haart chief executive Paul Smith says prices at the end of 2016 were much the same as a year earlier despite feelings that the 12 months in between had been tumultuous.
“The problem in the market in the latter half of the year was one of inertia – people have been holding off selling until they have clarity on how the economy will perform in a post-Brexit environment, and they naturally want to know they would get the best price for their property” he says.
Now Smith claims buyers are not prepared to “wait for endless deliberation over Brexit” saying it will take at least two years - “and perhaps many more” - for the process to be concluded.
However, he cautions that the one sector bucking this trend will be buy to let, where investors who have been “severely stung by the government’s war on landlords” will either quit or look to buy in the north of England.
“If the EU referendum had never happened house price growth would have certainly slowed in London, though the rest of the country would have seen further rises. Brexit has caused this shift to speed up, with London set to flat line throughout 2017 as investors and priced-out young professionals look to the East and South East of England, or opt to buy in the Midlands Engine or the Northern Powerhouse cities of Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield” claims Smith.