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Graham Awards


A vote to stay in EU would help sales and new-builds says major agency

Uncertainty before the EU Referendum could lead to fewer house sales and reduce the number of new homes being built warns Knight Frank - and a clear ‘Remain’ would allow the market “to recover any lost ground relatively quickly.”

“Despite the resilience of the market to date, experience from the 2014 Scottish Referendum shows that we ought to expect a slowdown in housing market activity as we get closer to the poll date” warns Knight Frank’s Global Head of Research, Liam Bailey.

Whilst the recent slump in the value of the Pound may help make Prime Central London property more attractive to wealthy overseas buyers, Bailey says: “There is no doubt a clear ‘Remain’ vote would remove immediate economic uncertainty and market activity might be expected to recover lost ground relatively rapidly - this was certainly the experience in Scotland referendum.” 

He says a ‘Leave’ vote would necessarily require a period of negotiation to establish the UK’s new relationship with the EU. “During this period it would be fair to assume the uncertainty would continue to influence investment decisions for businesses and individuals, particularly if the question of Scottish independence is raised again.”

Bailey accepts that the current market conditions - with demand outstripping supply - would probably not change in the short run whatever the result and that the effects of Brexit or Remain on the mainstream market may be relatively limited.

However, in a market comment issued by the agency, Bailey says: “An analysis of whether leaving the EU will result in a slow decline in the UK economy or herald a new expansionary future is well beyond the ambitions of this paper.”

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    Absolute nonsense! There is uncertainty in the housing market for all sorts of reasons. Staying in the EU is the worst thing that can happen to this country as we get strangled by more and more regulation. We need to get out to get control over our own laws and reduce the red tape. Controlled immigration would also make it easier for first time buyers as prices won't be forced up by the higher demand we have now. More first buyers means more second and third time buyers. That would bring a healthy housing market. Liam Bailey clearly has another agenda!

    Rob  Davies

    We already control our own laws. We already have control of our own borders. We're not in the Schengen Zone. We're an island, in case you hadn't notices, so we don't have any actual borders.

    If it was a free-for-all, why are all those people in the camp at Calais?

    I don't see the EU stepping in much to stop the government from making or passing laws. I don't see them having any say over the NHS, defence, the economy, education and public services. So what exactly is Brussels doing to control us? The EU is imperfect and needs reforming, but far better to do that from within. To have a say. To keep the peace. To help deal with the issues that are affecting the world right now.

    Yes, the EU can be criticised for excessive red tape and bureaucracy, but so can Westminster. So can so many government departments. Not everything is the fault of the EU. We have self-determination and control as it is.

    The reason prices are so high is that there aren't enough houses being built. It's been that way for decades. Successive governments have failed to solve the issue.

    And you do realise, if we left the EU, that around 2 million Brits living and working on the continent would suddenly be facing very uncertain futures. What happens to them?

    Richard White

    "We're not in the Schengen Zone. We're an island, in case you hadn't notices, so we don't have any actual borders." Hehehe. Cracking stuff.

  • Richard White

    The fear campaign is in full swing. It's all cobblers, naturally. There are huge potential benefits from leaving this insane leftist dictatorship and even if there weren't, it's about far, far more than cash and bricks and mortar.

    This assumes, however, that they'd let us leave. Which they won't. The whole thing is a complete stitch-up. The leaders of both in and out campaigns are committed Europhiles - what does that tell you?

    “You can check-out any time you like. But you can never leave” Don Felder, Don Henley, Glenn Frey. 1977.

    Rob  Davies

    Is it fear if it is also the truth? A Brexit would inevitably lead to more volatility in the housing market. To say otherwise is naive. It would also cause issues with the economy, investment, trade and the jobs market. And for what? Well, the Out side don't seem to be able to answer that, other than saying we'll wrest back control and become the greatest nation on the earth again.

    What sovereignty don't we currently possess? What are the EU forcing on us that we don't want to be enforced? If we weren't in the EU, our government would have even more freedom to overfish, abuse workers rights and push through TTIP. Our food production standards would go down, our attempts to combat pollution and climate change would be affected (it's only because of the EU that we even have pollution limits in place, which we still don't stick to) and our ability to have a voice in the world's second largest economy would be compromised. So we'd still trade with the single market, but we wouldn't have a say in it. What's the point in that?

    The EU is an easy scapegoat to be used. We are not ruled by Brussels any more than I'm a Premier League footballer. That's scaremongering, there and then.

    And, Richard, if you really think that Duncan-Smith, Gove, Grayling and Farage are committed Europhiles, I suggest you need a long lie down in a darkened room with a cold flannel on your head.

    Rob  Davies

    As for the property market, most key industry figures are coming out saying that Brexit would be a disaster. We already saw what happened to the pound last week. It'll be like the lead-up to a general election, for two whole years (or however long it takes us to strike a deal to leave the EU).

    Obviously that's not reason enough to stay, but there are plenty of compelling reasons to stay put and lots of reasons why an Out vote would cause an extended period of uncertainty, volatility and turmoil. The Out side are calling it project fear - well, that's just a lazy retort. Rather than just shouting "fear" and sticking their fingers in their ears, why don't the Out side put forward some positive steps as to how we'll trade with our European partners when we leave, how the economy will look, how the housing market will look. At the moment, they're just saying we need to leave to take back control, to take back our sovereignty, to stop us being ruled by a bloated, corporate elite (as if Westminster is any different). They're not giving any actual answers or solutions. They're not setting out their vision for a Britain outside the EU.

    Unfortunately, both sides are guilty of scaremongering and half-truths. Rather than any reasoned debate about the pros and cons of the EU - and there are many pros - we're just going to get MPs sniping at each other, the Tories tearing themselves apart, and meaningless phrases like "Project Fear", "Leap into the dark" and "Taking back control". Soundbites, sensationalism and emotional blackmail - modern politics in a nutshell!

    Richard White

    Rob, I don't give a stuff about volatility in the housing market in the scheme of things. If you're pro-euro purely for financial gain, I genuinely feel sorry for you.

    A vast number of laws that hit our statute books (maybe as many as half of them, depending on who you read) come from Brussels. Is this your idea of a sovereign nation? I work in financial services and see them come in constantly.

    It is also disingenuous to suggest that the Out campaign want us to be 'the greatest nation on Earth', somehow implying that it's packed full of people clinging onto the remains of the Empire. It's the finger pointing, 'Little Englander' routine.

    We have a transport system that cannot cope, an education system that cannot cope, a health system that cannot cope and an under production of housing so acute that our children and grandchildren have almost no hope of owning in their lifetime. Free movement of individuals through the EU is their core, fundamental principle and they will not compromise. Nobody has the slightest idea how many people are living here. Slavery is even making a comeback. For heavens sake man, get a grip.

    Add to this that the Euro is doomed to fail. Look at the amount of debt and the deficits and the economic prospects of so many of the members. The currency will not survive long term and the fallout will be huge.

    Perhaps, it is you who should have a , lie down.

    Richard White

    News just in. More pesky rules on the way, Rob, to destabilise the housing market. They all come from the UK, don't they......... oh..............


    Rob  Davies

    Richard, maybe the financial services need those laws to prevent things like the global financial crisis. Because we know, when that industry is left unregulated, it only causes misery for the rest of us.

  • Algarve  Investor

    God, this debate is going to rage on an on! Four more months of this to come. I still don't think most ordinary people are any clearer on the pros and cons of the EU and the pros and cons of leaving. It's extremely disingenuous of the Out side to say everything will be fine and dandy if we come out, and it's only the nasty EU who are stopping us from becoming a "great" country again. By the same token, the In side haven't been above scaremongering themselves. As expected, it's already descended into a tawdry farce, with Cameron mocking members of his own party and the more extreme Outers doing their best to divide the nation. Plus, of course, that absolutely dreadful video from Grassroots Out, which would turn anyone on the fence towards a vote to remain.

    I'm In, for obvious reasons, but I won't be forcing my opinion on anyone else. It's too important a decision for party politics to come into it. But, like with the Scottish referendum, I fear it's only going to get more and more nasty, with the more rabid nationalists making fools of themselves and MPs from both sides of the argument treating us like braindead idiots.

    Right, that's it, I'm off to Portugal for the next four months. I can't stand the endless coverage and the endless war of words. It's only been just over a week since Cameron's announcement and I'm already fed up of it all!

  • Kelly Evans

    More fearmongering, pure and simple. The housing market will be just fine, as will the economy, trade and investment. Scare tactics from those with vested interests, that's all the "In" side have.

  • David OConnor

    Whenever there is a general election there is uncertainty. The EU referendum is no different.
    Don’t be afraid of change as it always presents opportunity and you need change to make progress.
    There are no medium terms downsides to and EU exit when you have a large trade deficit. The ability to control our own trade agreement and immigration (points based) will only be good for an economy (anyone educated in economics will know that).
    So out of the EU the economy will be stronger and we can control the type of country we want to live in by controlling immigration. Even if that was no so it is also about democracy (yes our government are not perfect but we can change them) as we have no control of the EU commission and their one size fits all does not work.
    If the ‘Stay In’ campaign continue to just attempt to scare people when the argument to stay in is so weak there will only be one result. Remember what we were told if we did not give up sterling and join the Euro’s!!! They tried to scare us them.
    Those that want to stay in the EU read a book on economics and one on governance and then make an educated choice. We are better off out in every way.

    Rob  Davies

    "We are better off out in every way."

    Environmentally, politically and economically, no we're very much not. Our food production standards would diminish, our industry would continue to flag (it's not the EU who is allowing the Chinese to dump cheap oil, is it?) and our attempts deal with climate change will be seriously hampered. Our beaches will threaten a return to the 1970s, when we had some of the dirtiest in Europe. Now we have some of the cleanest. Our science and technology industries will be badly hit. Our human rights and workers rights will be more at threat. You can call this scaremongering, but there is genuine reasons to believe these would be at threat.

    You say we need our democracy back - well, how about we look at our unelected head of state and our unelected second chamber. How about we look at our unfair FPTP electoral system.

    As to your point on trade agreements - do you really think those in Europe are going to make that easy for us? Norway have to pay in to the EU, they have to agree to the free movement of people, they have to adhere to EU regulations when it comes to dealing with them - and they have none of the say in any of this. Genius. The Norwegian PM herself wants to join the EU - I wonder why.

    In the case of immigration, we already have a points-based system for non-EU citizens. The free movement of people in the EU is a two-way street. Plenty of Brits live, work and study in Europe.

    Rob  Davies

    *Cheap steel even. But you get the point.

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    The difference is my friend that British nationals working abroad are doing just that. They do not go and live in Spain and sponge off the state. We should have a points based system for anyone wanting to work here. As it stands millions of people have the right to come and live here without having a job. A problem that will only get worse when Turkey are allowed in.

    Regarding copying Norway, that is myth perpetuated by 'call me Dave' to try and fool people like you (It's working) that nothing will be gained. We do not want the Norway model. We want to be a sovereign country again. We are the 5th largest economy in the world. The EU are not going to charge us to trade with them. Maybe we should charge them to trade with us? Our membership of this club is costing us £350 million a week! The NHS, Education, Police etc can't cope any more and we are sending £350 a week to the EU? It beggars belief!

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    And as for we need to be in to have any influence.

    Well that myth was truly blown out of the water with the sight of Cameron scrambling around Europe's leaders asking for very little and getting even less. We have about as much influence in the EU as we do in Eurovision. We are one of the largest partners in Eurovision and pay the most money (ring any bells) and look where that usually gets us. Nil points!


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