No Brexit deal yet, but families are doing housing deals

Published : 18th April 2019


Families are helping boost activity in the UK housing market this spring as their property needs supersede the current Brexit uncertainty, new Rightmove data has shown.

The family home sector, comprised of three- and four-bedroom properties (excluding four-bed detached), is outperforming other sectors, with family home prices rising by 0.7% on average year-on-year compared to a national average fall for all properties of 0.1%.

Rightmove’s data also shows that this sector is more likely to sell than the national average, as well as being more willing to come to the market, with 0.7% more new sellers than this time a year ago.

Rightmove property expert Miles Shipside said: “Properties in this middle sector offer the ideal escape route to families looking for more bedrooms, more space and their choice of schools. They are often second-steppers out-growing their first property and it gets to harder to postpone a move with growing children.

“They may have already delayed for a year or two waiting for Brexit clarity, and understandably their patience is wearing even thinner than it is for the rest of us. While some movers are awaiting the outcome of deal or no deal, many families are keeping on dealing in the housing market.”

Family homes are also selling better than the rest of the market, with the number of sales agreed down by just 0.4% compared to this time in 2018, while the national average drop is 1.6%.

The EU’s offer of a Brexit extension until October coincides with what is usually the busiest moving season. While it is only a postponement, it lasts for long enough to relieve some of the short-term uncertainty, and so it arrives at an opportune time for the housing market.

Shipside added: “No doubt there are still a lot of twists and turns to come, but this extension could give hesitating home movers encouragement that there is now a window of relative certainty in uncertain times. We are not anticipating an activity surge, but maybe a wave of relief that releases some pent-up demand to take advantage of static property prices and cheap fixed-rate mortgages”.