Brexit clouds outlook in housing market

/ EdgeProp
December 28, 2018 1:26 PM SGT
The uncertainty over Brexit has taken a toll on the UK housing market, both in terms of sentiment and transaction volume. “The housing market in England and Wales has seen a slowing in both transactions and price growth since early 2018 and these trends are gathering pace as the end game for the Brexit negotiations has moved closer,” comments Liam Bailey, Knight Frank’s global head of research. “The prime market in London has been particularly affected, with transactions lower by 20% in October on a year-on-year basis.”
Prices have largely adjusted for the stamp duty hike, which was introduced in 2014. The result is that the average price fall in prime London was 15%, while transaction volume has plunged 40% since 2014, according to an Oct 12 market comment by Property Vision, a UK-based property buyer advisory firm.
The average price fall in prime London was 15%, while transaction volume has plunged 40% since 2014 (Photo Credit: Bloomberg)

Holding back

The mounting uncertainty in the Brexit is- sue has made potential homebuyers, including investors from Singapore, more cautious, says Doris Tan, regional director of Strawberry Star, an international property company.
Tan is a 30-year real estate veteran, specialising in marketing overseas, especially UK, property in Singapore. “The UK property market is in limbo, with little direction for investors and owner-occupiers. Potential home- buyers have therefore held back on their purchases, preferring to rent instead.”
2018 was a year of two halves for UK property launches in Singapore. “The first half was strong, with many launches,” says Tan. “The second half was slower, owing to uncertainty over Brexit and the UK economy. The British pound has also fallen sharply as a result.”
Developers with projects in the UK will continue to showcase them at roadshows in Asia next year, as buying interest in China and Hong Kong remains healthy, says Tan. “Singaporeans have perhaps either over- bought in London, or feel that it’s time to take a breather.”
Owing to the dearth of sales in Singapore in recent years, some UK developers have scaled down on weekend roadshows here. This has, in turn, taken a toll on some of the international property consultancies. While JLL, Straw- berry Star and One Global...