Industry reacts to upcoming Brexit deadline

Jessica Nangle

January 31, 2020

The UK is set to leave the European Union tonight at 11pm.

The UK voted to leave the EU during a referendum held on 23 June 2016.

Daniel Hegarty, chief executive and founder of Habito, said: “When it comes to how much homeowners pay for their mortgage each month, there won’t be any change to people’s current situation.

“If you’re on a fixed rate, your payments will continue as they have been, and if you’re on a variable rate, the amount you pay each month could rise or fall going forward, just as it could today.

“For those with second homes in the EU or EU citizens living in the UK with a second property, nothing will change.

“The Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD) is now part of UK law – that’s a body of legislation for all mortgage lending, that protects consumers and their property.

“MCD will continue to apply to all lenders and people with mortgages in the UK, whether they’re UK or EU citizens.

“Confidence in the market is a big factor when it comes to people choosing whether to stay put or move home, and this is something to watch as the UK progresses through the Brexit transition period.

“The last 18 months saw home-buyers confidence impacted greatly by political uncertainty and we saw lower figures for house moving in 2019.

“But, after such a definitive General Election, confidence is back up.

“Our own data has shown that online searches for mortgages in the UK were up 113% the weekend after the General Election and market data is showing that asking prices for UK property have increased by 2.3% since the General Election – the biggest month-on-month rise seen in any January since 2002.

“We wait to see if this new-found home-buying consumer confidence remains on the up.”

The UK joined the EU on 1 January 1973.

Peter Izard, business development manager at Investec Private Bank, added: After years of debate, speculation and drama, the UK has now left the European Union in somewhat of an anti-climax.

“The size of majority won by the Conservatives at the General Election ensured a relatively straight-forward conclusion to the Brexit saga, and we now find ourselves in a transition period until the end of the year.

“This ticking clock until the end of the transition period will continue to cause concern for the markets until an ongoing trade agreement is struck, and we could find that it starts to impact property transactions towards the end of the year if the negotiations go down to the wire.

“For now, however, there is certainly a detectible, if possibly temporary, bounce in the market and at Investec Private Bank, we have already seen a very busy start to the year driven by a rise in prime London purchase business and continued demand for remortgages.

“Greater certainty around Brexit is one likely reason for this, and even while question marks remain over the long-term arrangement with the EU, in this country we find ourselves heading into the first settled parliament with a stable majority since 2010.

“This is likely to prove a reassuring influence on the market and so we can perhaps look forward to a stronger 2020 than many may had hoped for.”

More to follow…

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