House price sentiment increases following Brexit vote

Ryan Fowler

October 24, 2016

house sales for sale sold row

House price sentiment has seen a significant uptick following the vote to leave the Europe, according to the latest House Price Sentiment Index from Knight Frank and HIS Markit.

Some 18.4% of the 1,500 households surveyed across the UK said that the value of their home had risen over the last month, while 7% said that prices had fallen.

It was the third month in a row that the index was above 50 since the index reached a low point in July just after the historic referendum vote with a reading of 55.7. It was a slight decrease from the 56.9 recorded in September and the index remains significantly below its peak of 63.2 recorded in May 2014.

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However, Gráinne Gilmore, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, said that October’s figure is higher than the post-referendum average HPSI reading of 53.1 reflecting the general bounce back in sentiment which has been seen since the vote.

The future HPSI, which measures what households think will happen to the value of their property over the next year, also slipped slightly in October to 62.9 from 64.7 the previous month.

“While households are still positive, they are expecting more modest growth in property prices over the next 12 months than they were in September,” Gilmore pointed out, adding that a significant uptick in sentiment since the vote is highlighted by the data.

Since the recent index low immediately following the EU referendum, households in the South West have seen the biggest sustained rebound in terms of their expectations for future growth, from 51.7 in July to 70.8 in October.

This month, some 12% of households said they expected the value of their home to fall over the next 12 months, down from the 23% seen in the month after the Brexit vote. Some 18% expect a rise in prices, still some way below the peak of 30% back in May 2014, but significantly above the reading of 11.2% in July.

According to Tim Moore, senior economist at HIS Markit, the housing market across the UK as a whole is being underpinned by lack of supply and ultra-low mortgage rates.

He said: “The key message from October’s survey data is that UK housing market sentiment has recovered strongly this autumn from the post-referendum jitters seen during the summer.”

He pointed out that there were signs of resilience across all UK regions, with households in the south of England most confident that property values will rise over the next 12 months.

“Lower interest rates and stable mortgage availability have acted as shock absorbers for household sentiment in recent months. However, expectations for house price growth are softer than in the first half of 2016, suggesting that affordability constraints and Brexit uncertainty are still putting the brakes on price momentum,” he added.

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