Brokers warn Brexit is a higher priority than housing for Boris Johnson

Michael Lloyd

July 23, 2019

Brokers warn Brexit is a much higher priority for new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, with housing lower down the pecking order.

The results of the Conservative leadership race was announced today, polling Johnson (pictured) with 92,153 votes, ahead of Jeremy Hunt’s 46,656 votes. There was a turnout of 87.4%.

Johnson will be taking office on Wednesday 24 July following the ballot taken by just under 160,000 Conservative members.

Martin Stewart, director at The Money Group, said: “I don’t think the news surrounding Boris Johnson becoming PM is one that comes as any great surprise.

“Only time will tell if his appointment will have any immediate impact on the housing market, although I suggest that he has much bigger challenges on his to-do list.

“If he can unlock the current Brexit stalemate then we may well see the housing market correct itself without the need for any government intervention.

“After the last five years of property stimulus we don’t need any more and I believe the best thing for us all is to have a housing cycle that evolves more organically rather than have one that continues to grow synthetically.”

Payam Azadi, director of Niche Advice, said that that unfortunately there will be more turmoil for the year ahead as there is a lot to get sorted, and while Brexit is being negotiated, everything else gets put on hold.

He added: “Regardless of who’s in charge the fundamentals of the task ahead remain unchanged which undoubtedly brings more uncertainty and turmoil.

“There’s going to be new Chancellor. A lot of things are happening which needs urgent attention. Everything is determined by Brexit, all of his policies.”

As part of his election campaign Johnson promised a significant cut in stamp duty as part of a no-deal Brexit and could reverse the stamp duty increase on expensive homes.

Azadi said: “How negotiations go with Brexit determine what stays in the pot to spend. I think all the giveaways from the campaign are almost secondary. Everything is to do with public finances at the end of the day.

“I think the serious task is Brexit and it needs serious people and I hope he builds a team of serious people around him.”

Meanwhile David Hollingworth, associate director of communications at L&C Mortgages, said that housing will be important because it will be a parameter of how well the government is doing with the Brexit negotiations and nursing consumer confidence.

He said: “It’s impossible to say what will happen until you get some clarity around Brexit.  There will be lots of talk on housing, but Brexit will take up the immediate time in the run up to October but then we’ll see.

“Everything will depend on how Brexit negotiations go. I think in the run up to October people will hold off from moving and wait and see how it pans out. And we’ll see if we get more clarity in October.”

Adrian Knott, owner of AK Partnership, is a fan of Johnson and predicted he’ll deliver Brexit and give the housing market a boost.

He added: “He’s a bit of no-nonsense guy and certainly was as Mayor of London. I think he will deliver on Brexit which will give people confidence, and that will drive confidence in the housing market.

“We’re in a lull at the moment with political uncertainty. The housing market is built on confidence.

“I think he’ll have a positive effect on the housing market because he’s no nonsense speaking and will give the city confidence.

“And he’s the only one who can unite the Tory party, otherwise it’ll collapse.”

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