No-deal Brexit puts Scottish housing market at risk

No-deal Brexit puts Scottish housing market at risk

Research from KPMG UK has revealed that house prices in Scotland risk a six per cent drop if Britain leaves the EU without a deal at the end of next month.

KPMG warned that a decrease of 10-20 per cent is “not out of the question” if the market reacts more strongly than expected.

The analysis, however, forecasts a house price increase of 0.7 per cent in 2019 and one of 1.4 per cent in 2020, if Britain leaves with a deal and Brexit proceeds smoothly.

The data also revealed that in light of a Brexit deal, the average Scottish house prices by the end of 2020 would be £153,000. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, they are expected to be in the region of £141,000.

Jan Crosby, KPMG’s UK head of housing, said: “While a no-deal could dent property values in the short-term, it doesn’t detract from the fundamental factor driving the market - the lack of regional housing supply. Sales volumes will likely fall much more than prices, making government housing delivery targets impossible to achieve and slowing new building across the sector.”

She added: “Also, the level of leverage in the housebuilding sector is much lower - meaning that volume housebuilders will be under less pressure to materially reduce prices, which helped to create the downward spiral of prices in the global financial crisis.”

Catherine Burnet, senior partner at KPMG in Scotland, said: “Our data suggests 2020 could be a particularly delicate year for the housing market. Even if a positive resolution can be found to the Brexit dilemma, increasing geopolitical uncertainty could impact growth in the Scottish economy, making prospects for house prices relatively subdued.”

Thorntons Property managing director, Peter Ryder, said house prices in Tayside had increased this year but the Dundee-based expert said it was possible a no-deal Brexit would make banks more risk-averse.

Mr Ryder added: “It’s hard to predict what Brexit will do to house prices in Tayside and Fife. If funds are still available I think people will still want to move but the lenders might go back to what they did in the 2010 recession and require larger deposits and tighten up their lending criteria. At the moment for the last few months, the Dundee property market has been holding its own. Dundee, like many other areas in Scotland, has been experiencing a shortage in stock coming to the market and we are finding is that the properties we list sell relatively quickly.”

He said that in the last month more people were adopting a “wait and see” approach before buying or selling. He added: “It means there’s pent up demand of people wanting to put their houses on the market and move.”

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