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Post-Brexit slump 'could wipe 50% off portals and Purplebricks' claim

The Motley Fool, a widely-read City investment column, says a Leave vote could result in a fall in housing market transaction volumes which in turn could lead to severe problems for the likes of Rightmove, Zoopla and Purplebricks.

Peter Stephens, one of the group of analysts who pen the column, says a Leave vote could coincide with additional political uncertainty in the light of a new London mayor - being voted for tomorrow - and wider economic volatility.

This is turn could translate into falling volumes on publicly-quoted property companies such as Purplebricks, Rightmove and Zoopla. “Their sales and profitability could realistically come under a degree of pressure over the coming months and their forecasts could be downgraded” he says.

Stephens cites Zoopla as having ”a considerable margin of safety built into its share price” but it warns that the current share pricing of Rightmove has “the margin of safety on offer ... somewhat narrower than that of Zoopla.”

However, he is at his most pessimistic in his analysis of Purplebricks should Britain vote Leave.

“In terms of Purplebricks’ margin of safety, it appears to be extremely narrow. In fact, the company is currently lossmaking and while it’s forecast to move into profitability next year, this seems to have been fully priced-in by the market. Evidence of this can be seen in Purplebricks’ rating, with it having a forward P/E ratio of over 52. This indicates that while it does have long-term potential, Purplebricks may offer a less appealing risk/reward ratio than its sector peers” warns Stephens.  

Stephens says the in its worst case scenario, share values of these companies could drop 50 per cent.

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    But absolutely no explanation of how a Brexit could result in a fall in the housing market.

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    what total rubbish this article is - its done more damage to 'Motley Fool' than generated publicity.

    Garbage from start to finish.

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    Hi Chris,
    A Brexit would lead to major uncertainty for some years and the housing market does not like uncertainty.

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    Hi Richard.
    Stating that leaving the EU would lead to uncertainty in the housing market doesn't explain why you believe it would have such an effect. We (the UK) have a huge demand for property and a general undersupply. With the vast majority of buyers being UK residents I fail to see how any case can be made that there will be any significant shift in property values outside what might normally be expected within a statistical variation. The only current drop in value is due to the much overdue readjustment of the London market due to drop in mega-wealthy foreign investors 'buy to leave' investments/ money laundering (take your pick)

     
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