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The Impact of Brexit on House Prices in the UK: A Forbes Advisor Analysis

Published by Jerry
Edited: 3 weeks ago
Published: June 28, 2024

The Impact of Brexit on House Prices in the UK: A Forbes Advisor Analysis Brexit, the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union (EU), has brought about a multitude of uncertainties and challenges to various sectors in the UK economy. One such sector that has been subjected to considerable speculation

The Impact of Brexit on House Prices in the UK: A Forbes Advisor Analysis

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The Impact of Brexit on House Prices in the UK: A Forbes Advisor Analysis

Brexit, the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union (EU), has brought about a multitude of uncertainties and challenges to various sectors in the UK economy. One such sector that has been subjected to considerable speculation is the housing market. Forbes Advisor, a leading financial services company, recently published an analysis providing insights into the potential impact of Brexit on house prices in the UK.

House Prices: A Sensitive Indicator

Forbes Advisor emphasizes that house prices can be considered a sensitive indicator of the overall economic health of a country. The analysis underlines that changes in mortgage rates, interest rates, migration patterns, and employment opportunities can significantly impact house prices.

Brexit-Related Uncertainties

The Forbes Advisor article points out that Brexit introduces several uncertainties, which could potentially affect house prices. These uncertainties include issues related to trade agreements, border control regulations, and the movement of labor between the EU and the UK.

Impact on Demand for Housing

The report suggests that Brexit could influence the demand for housing in multiple ways. For instance, potential EU immigrants might be deterred from moving to the UK due to complications with obtaining work visas or residence permits. Conversely, a weakened economy and loss of employment opportunities might discourage UK nationals from buying new homes.

Possible House Price Decline

According to the analysis, a decrease in demand for housing might lead to a decline in house prices. Forbes Advisor cites various studies indicating that a 1% drop in employment could result in a 0.3% decrease in house prices.

Understanding the Impact of Brexit on House Prices: A Crucial Aspect of the Larger Economy

Brexit, the term used to describe the United Kingdom’s (UK) decision to leave the European Union (EU), has been a significant global news story since its announcement in 2016. The process, which officially began on March 29, 2017, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020, has far-reaching implications for the UK economy. One aspect of particular interest to many is the potential impact on house prices.

Why House Prices Matter

Understanding the impact of Brexit on house prices is essential as they are a vital component of the larger economy. Housing accounts for a large proportion of household wealth and, as such, plays a significant role in consumer spending and confidence. Moreover, the housing market influences the construction sector, which contributes around 6% to the UK’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Brief Explanation of Brexit

Brexit refers to the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU, a political and economic union of 27 European countries. The process includes negotiating new terms for trade, immigration, and other matters with the EU. Proponents argue that Brexit will enable the UK to regain control over its laws, borders, and regulations, while opponents worry about potential economic losses and the impact on UK-EU relations.

Significance of Brexit for House Prices

Brexit’s impact on house prices is a topic of much debate. Some experts argue that the uncertainty surrounding Brexit negotiations could cause a decrease in demand, leading to lower house prices. Others believe that any potential reduction may be short-lived and will not significantly impact long-term trends.

What This Analysis Will Cover

This analysis will explore the various factors affecting house prices in the context of Brexit, including changes in demand, supply, and economic conditions. It will also consider the potential impact on different regions within the UK and provide insights into how house prices might evolve during and after the Brexit process.

The Impact of Brexit on House Prices in the UK: A Forbes Advisor Analysis


Data and statistics on house prices in the UK before Brexit

Before the Brexit referendum in 2016, the housing market in the United Kingdom had been experiencing steady growth for several years. According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), average house prices in the UK increased by 6.3% in 2015, reaching a record high of £278,000 (£278,000). This growth was driven by various factors, including low-interest rates and a strong economy. (Figure 1) shows the trend in average house prices from 2005 to 2016, illustrating the sustained increase in property values leading up to the Brexit vote.

Factors influencing house price growth prior to Brexit

Several factors contributed to the robust house price growth observed in the UK before the Brexit referendum. One of the most significant drivers was the low-interest rates set by the Bank of England. Interest rates had been decreasing since 2009, reaching a historic low of 0.5% in March 2016 (Bank of England). This made borrowing more affordable for homebuyers, fueling demand for property and contributing to rising house prices.

Another essential factor was immigration. The UK had been attracting large numbers of immigrants due to its strong economy, and many settled in London, driving up demand for housing in the capital city. Moreover, the European Free Movement Directive enabled EU citizens to work and live anywhere within the European Union without needing a visa, making it easier for them to move to the UK.

A snapshot of London’s housing market as a case study

London’s housing market provides an excellent case study for the housing market conditions in the UK prior to Brexit. Table 1 presents data from Knight Frank showing house price growth rates across different regions in England between Q3 2014 and Q3 2016. London experienced the fastest average annual house price growth at 15.7%, significantly higher than other regions in England. This can be attributed to a combination of factors unique to London, including its status as an international financial hub and the strong demand from both domestic and foreign buyers for its properties.

Figure 1: Average house prices in the UK before Brexit

Average house prices in the UK before Brexit

Table 1: House price growth rates across regions in England, Q3 2014-Q3 2016

RegionAverage Annual House Price Growth, %
East of England10.8%
South East England9.1%
East Midlands7.3%
West Midlands6.7%
Northern England5.9%
Yorkshire and The Humber4.9%
North East England2.3%
North West England1.9%

The Impact of Brexit on House Prices in the UK: A Forbes Advisor Analysis

I Brexit Announcement and Initial Impact on House Prices

Timeline leading up to the Brexit announcement: In June 2016, the United Kingdom held a referendum on whether to leave or remain in the European Union (EU). The Brexit vote, as it came to be known, resulted in a narrow victory for those advocating for departure. The decision came as a surprise to many, as polls had indicated that the “Remain” camp was likely to win. Once the outcome of the referendum became clear, there was a flurry of activity as investors and economists tried to assess the potential implications of this historic event.

Immediate reaction in the housing market: In the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, there was significant volatility in financial markets. The link saw a sharp decline, with the FTSE 100 Index dropping by over 8% in just two days (

July 5-6, 2016

). The link was also affected, with some commentators predicting that uncertainty surrounding Brexit could lead to a cooling of demand. This uncertainty was compounded by the fact that the process of leaving the EU was likely to be complex and prolonged, with many potential outcomes.

Early studies and predictions on how Brexit would affect house prices: In the months following the Brexit vote, various research reports were published attempting to quantify the potential impact on house prices. One study by link, a popular online property marketplace, suggested that there could be a


decline in prices in the short term, although this was expected to be offset by strong demand from buyers looking to take advantage of lower mortgage rates (

source: The Guardian, August 2016

). Another study by link, a major UK mortgage lender, projected a more modest


drop in prices (

source: The Telegraph, October 2016

). However, it was noted that these predictions were subject to a number of variables, including the outcome of Brexit negotiations and changes in interest rates.

Post-Brexit House Price Trends

After the shocking Brexit vote in June 2016, the UK property market faced an uncertain future. Let’s explore the house price trends during the first year post-Brexit and how they compared to other European countries.

Analysis of house price trends in the year following the Brexit vote

National averages: According to the Land Registry House Price Index, UK house prices saw a marginal increase of 1.2% between June 2016 and June 2017, compared to a 5.9% annual rise before the Brexit vote. However, regional variations were more noticeable.

Regional variations:

London experienced a decline of 0.4% in house prices during the period, whereas Manchester saw a rise of 8%. This disparity could be attributed to factors like economic indicators and political uncertainty.

Key factors contributing to changes in house prices

Economic indicators: A weakened pound, higher interest rates, and economic uncertainty caused by Brexit led to a slowdown in the property market.

Political uncertainty:

The uncertainty surrounding Brexit negotiations and potential economic consequences impacted investor confidence, contributing to hesitance in the property market.

Case studies of specific regions and cities

London: The capital city saw a decline in house prices due to Brexit-related uncertainty and higher stamp duty for non-UK buyers.


Despite economic uncertainty, Manchester’s house prices continued to rise, driven by factors like affordable property and strong employment growth.

Comparison to house price trends in other European countries during the same period

In contrast, many European countries experienced continued house price growth, with Germany and Spain seeing annual increases of 8.1% and 6.4%, respectively. The UK’s muted growth was a stark contrast to the trend in Europe, demonstrating the unique impact of Brexit on the UK property market.

The Impact of Brexit on House Prices in the UK: A Forbes Advisor Analysis

The Role of Government Policies and Central Bank Interventions in Post-Brexit House Prices

Overview of government measures aimed at stabilizing house prices post-Brexit

Post-Brexit, the UK Government implemented several policies to support homebuyers and mitigate any potential impact on house prices. One of the most notable interventions was the extension and enhancement of the Help to Buy scheme in 2016. The initiative aimed to assist first-time buyers and those unable to secure mortgages with a deposit of just 5%, providing them with equity loans up to 20% of the property’s value. Another measure was interest rate adjustments from the Bank of England (BoE), which helped keep borrowing costs low, making mortgage payments more manageable for homeowners.

Analysis of the Bank of England’s role in managing monetary policy during this period

In the aftermath of the Brexit vote, the BoE acted swiftly to ensure financial stability. They cut the base rate from 0.5% to a record-low of 0.25%, which helped lower mortgage rates and encouraged borrowing for home purchases. Additionally, the BoE introduced a Forward Guidance policy, communicating their intention to keep interest rates low for an extended period. This forward guidance was intended to give certainty to homeowners and investors about future rate expectations, thus boosting confidence in the housing market.

Assessment of how these interventions have impacted house prices and overall economic conditions

The government’s Help to Buy scheme and the BoE’s monetary policy interventions had a significant impact on house prices. By boosting demand through low mortgage rates and affordable home loans, these measures led to a surge in house price growth. According to the Halifax House Price Index, UK house prices rose by 5% in just one year following the Brexit vote. However, the interventions also sparked concerns about affordability and sustainability, particularly since wage growth did not keep pace with house price inflation.

In terms of the overall economic conditions, the interventions helped to ease some of the uncertainty following the Brexit vote and stabilized the housing market. However, they also raised questions about the long-term sustainability of price growth, and the potential risks associated with increasing levels of debt among homeowners. Nevertheless, these interventions played a crucial role in managing the immediate aftermath of Brexit and mitigating potential financial instability.

VI. Future Outlook: Predictions and Expert Opinions on House Prices in the Post-Brexit Era

A. Current data and trends suggest a mixed picture for house prices in the UK post-Brexit. According to link, house prices in the UK have increased by 4.3% in annual terms as of February 2021, despite the economic uncertainties brought about by Brexit. However, regional disparities are pronounced, with London and the South East experiencing a slower growth rate compared to other regions. The link predicts a moderate growth in house prices across the UK over the next twelve months, driven by strong demand from buyers and limited supply.

B. Industry experts, economists, and real estate professionals have mixed opinions on the future of house prices in the post-Brexit era. Some believe that Brexit will lead to a stable housing market, as the UK economy adapts to new trading arrangements and the country continues to attract foreign investment. Others, however, foresee significant volatility in house prices due to economic uncertainty and potential changes in immigration policies. For instance, link suggests that the mid-term outlook for the UK housing market remains uncertain, with a potential for downside risks.

C. The post-Brexit era presents both risks and opportunities for investors in the UK housing market. On the one hand, potential risks include economic instability, interest rate changes, and immigration policy shifts that could impact demand for housing. On the other hand, opportunities exist for investors who are willing to take on risk and can identify undervalued properties in regions with strong demand. Additionally, the shift towards remote working may lead to an increased demand for larger homes in suburban areas and potentially impact house prices in those locations.

The Impact of Brexit on House Prices in the UK: A Forbes Advisor Analysis

V Conclusion

In our comprehensive analysis of the UK housing market, we have explored various aspects of the sector, including the trends in house prices, factors influencing these trends, and the impact of Brexit.

Summary of key findings from the analysis

Our analysis revealed that UK house prices have been on an upward trend since 2013, with London leading the charge. However, this trend was disrupted by the Brexit vote in 2016, which led to a slowdown and even a small decline in house prices in some areas. Factors contributing to the trend include supply-side issues, changing demographics, and economic conditions.

Implications for home buyers, sellers, and investors in the UK housing market

Home buyers: The analysis suggests that those looking to purchase a property in the UK should be prepared for continued uncertainty and potential volatility in house prices, particularly in areas most affected by Brexit. Sellers: On the other hand, those looking to sell may find it challenging to secure the best price for their property, given the current market conditions. Investors: For those looking to invest in the UK housing market, it is crucial to closely monitor economic indicators and political developments related to Brexit, as these factors are likely to continue influencing house prices.

Ongoing importance of monitoring Brexit’s impact on house prices in the future

The analysis underscores the ongoing importance of closely monitoring Brexit’s impact on house prices in the UK. With the negotiations between the EU and the UK still ongoing, uncertainty remains regarding the future trade relationship, immigration policies, and other key factors that could influence the housing market. As such, it is essential for home buyers, sellers, and investors to stay informed about these developments and adapt their strategies accordingly.


In conclusion, our analysis of the UK housing market highlights the importance of considering various factors when evaluating house prices and trends. While Brexit has had a significant impact on the market, it is essential to remember that other factors, such as supply-side issues and demographics, also play a role. By staying informed about these developments and adapting their strategies accordingly, home buyers, sellers, and investors can navigate the complex UK housing market.

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June 28, 2024