The influential Home Owners’ Alliance pressure group says Britain pulling out of the EU would probably depress house prices.
The HOA - a group which in the recent past has won considerable media attention and has been included in National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team consultations - gives a cautious warning on the possible perils of exit.
“There are quite a few reasons to think there could be downward pressure on house prices, upward pressure on mortgage costs, slightly lower moving costs, and more expensive extensions. So if you are mortgage free, trading up, with no plans to do building work, you could be better off. But if you have a big mortgage, are trading down and want to refurbish your new house, you could be worse off” claims Paula Higgins, founder and chief executive of the HOA.
She says that stricter immigration controls, which may come if Britain left the EU, would reduce demand for housing “and so house prices are likely to rise less fast (or even potentially fall) – making it easier for first time homebuyers to get on the housing ladder.”
But she says post-exit labour shortages in the building sector could reduce supply and the possible dropping of Energy Performance Certificates - currently an EU requirement - could indirectly reduce the cost of moving house.
However, Higgins says the case against departure is not clear-cut and many now opposing exit also at one time advocated joining the Euro. “Like all economic predictions, this all comes with a blood-pressure raising big dose of salt” she says.