Home Front logoWith Brexit looming on the horizon it seems there is an equal split in both camps in the should we stay or should we go quest. But how will the decision affect the UK property market? Indications so far are that potential buyers and sellers as well as renters are choosing to stay put and the current uncertainty in the housing market could persist beyond the 23rd of June if the UK backs Brexit. The time it would take for the Government to negotiate fresh deals and relationships could put the brakes on short- to medium-term housing activity. In other words, if people don’t need to move, they won’t which as an agent I would say has already become more than just a bit apparent. Britain leaving the EU could prompt it to tighten control of its borders. And this could result in a last-ditch immigration surge, putting short-term pressure on housing stock. Already, figures show that migration is responsible for a third of social housing shortages but the private sector would also be impacted. However, in the long-term, if immigration was to reduce under Brexit, demand for housing could cool, according to RICS. We could also see a major cooling off at the high end of the market if major international firms relocate their headquarters outside of the UK in the wake of Brexit, no doubt a vast number of highly-paid executives will follow suit. This could result in lower demand for high-end property, particularly in London and the south east, fuelling price reductions already underway. Changing enrolment rules for universities and colleges under Brexit, could put off international students from coming to the UK to study. This would have a knock-on effect on the demand for property which would have devastating effects for student landlords. UK house price growth is already tailing off. But some market commentators believe Brexit could trigger price falls as uncertainty prevails and demand for housing weakens. Current estimates that a vote for Brexit would see 5% wiped off current property values. Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney warned earlier this year that interest rates could rise if Britain backed Brexit. Any limits on immigration under Brexit could result in fewer construction workers from overseas. And, if demand for labour begins to outstrip supply, costs will rise for the UK’s house builders and developers. This extra cost could be passed onto the buyers of new-build homes. On the other hand if the UK was no longer required to make financial contributions to the EU under Brexit, the extra cash could be put towards boosting our own new infrastructures and development. I think the message is whatever way you decide to vote, make sure you have educated yourself enough on both options before you do so, the ramifications either way will be huge.