By Emanuela Barbiroglio

Brexit uncertainty dents confidence in housing market

The UK’s decision to leave the EU has hit confidence in the housing market, according to a reader survey conducted by Property Week ahead of the RESI Conference next week.

The survey, which also highlights the challenges facing housing and planning minister Alok Sharma, reveals that 60% of respondents think the outlook for the market has significantly or slightly worsened since the Brexit vote. A further 30% say that the outlook for the sector remains the same, while 9% claim that the outlook has improved significantly or slightly.

Opinion is divided over what will happen to house prices over the next 12 months. While 43% of respondents think prices will increase, 37% believe they will fall and 20% think they will remain the same.

There are also diverging opinions as to what will happen to housebuilding activity in the short to medium term. Although 11% of respondents think housebuilding will increase significantly and 28% believe it will increase somewhat, 11% think it will fall and 50% believe it could increase or fall depending on what occurs in the wider economy.

Government should build

In terms of solutions to the nation’s housing shortage, 59% think the government should borrow money to support a major new housebuilding programme and 46% think that the government should open up development corridors running from London to key commuter and satellite towns.

RESI survey data

As far as the priorities for RESI Conference keynote speaker Sharma go, the key issues cited by readers include: the 3% stamp duty surcharge on second homes, which 11% name-checked; the implementation of the housing white paper, identified by 17% as an issue; and Help to Buy, cited by 15%.

However, the biggest priority identified by readers was the introduction of the right reforms following the Grenfell Tower tragedy. More than a fifth (22%) of respondents believe this should be Sharma’s main priority.