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Brexit causing "unprecedented" damage to housing market says Reapit

A 36 per cent collapse in sales between November and January has created an “unprecedented” five year low in the number of exchanges. 

The software company has compared its most recent three months of sales data with the five-year average for the same November-January period in order to gauge the impact of uncertainty on the property market in the build-up to the UK quitting the EU.

By analysing data from thousands of estate agents’ offices, it found what it calls “strong indicators of a stalled market across the board.” 


Every data point was down on the five-year average, from the initial market appraisals through to exchange of contracts and ultimate sale.

Gary Barker, chief executive of Reapit, says: “Our research sheds light on the extent to which Brexit uncertainty has affected property transactions in the past three months. Our data reveal that property sales per estate agent have dropped by a third when compared to the long-term average.

“This 36 per cent drop in sales represents an unprecedented five-year November-January low. It’s doubly concerning for estate agents because seasonally, this is a quieter period for transactions compared to the summer months.

“It’s fair to say that the housing market is holding its breath as we await the Brexit outcome. Nobody wants to risk being on the wrong side of a potential house price crash, so the market sentiment is to wait and see.”

Specifically, Reapit’s research has discovered that:

- The average number of exchanges recorded per estate agent office dropped by 36 per cent, when compared to the long-term average;

- Properties under offer were down eight per cent on the long-term average;

- Instructions of new properties were down 10 per cent;

- Viewings of properties were down five per cent;

- Market appraisals of properties were down 2.5 per cent.

However, Barker insists there is a silver lining - or at least there will be when Brexit is finally sorted.

“Once we have clarity, the pent-up demand of people waiting to buy, and supply of people waiting to sell, will see an upswing in activity for the housing industry. Regardless of politics, life goes on and people need to move homes. Agents need to be prepared when the floodgates are opened.”

Poll: Is this your experience of the past three months?


  • Richard Copus

    I don't believe in making political comments in these forums, but these are unprecedented times. Brexit is causing unprecedented damage to lots of things. Hardly a day goes by without us losing more inward investment. It is interesting talking to many people over the age of 70 now, many of who voted Leave as an automatic reaction, who sheepishly admit that the sun set on the British Empire over half a century ago and they didn't really understand exactly how important harmonisation of trade and business is. Bring on the People's Vote and let 16 year old's have the vote - they have their whole lives ahead of them.

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    Another referendum for those who errrrrrred!

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    Not likely.
    Let's walk away from dictators.
    39 Billion would help Great Britain.
    No more votes please.

    Rob  Davies

    In what way are the EU dictating your life? Of all the reasons to leave the EU put forward by the leavers, this is by far the silliest. There is very little the government can't do if it wanted to do it. Where regulations, barriers and obstacles are in place, it's usually for a valid reason - to keep food and environmental standards high, to regulate banks, etc. The EU is far from a perfect institution (show me one that is) - but it does more good than harm. And I still haven't heard a coherent, articulate reason for how we'll be better off out. What's more, you won't get all of that £39 billion back. That's not the way things work.

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    Thankyou Mr Copus, I realise now how stupid I was to vote for self determination and control of our borders ,laws and money, much better to let those cleaver EU bureaucrats do it for me....You are the definition of a pompous remoaner, you lost for a very good reason and you should learn to trust democracy, particularly as you have the honour to be in the world`s oldest democracy.

    Rob  Davies

    Barely a country in the world has 100% sovereignty, even less so in this increasingly globalised, interconnected world. And I think you'll find the UK already has a significant amount of control over its borders, laws and money - you should be aiming your ire at those in Westminster rather than those in Brussels.

    No-one won or lost in all this - in fact, we're all losing at the moment with the absolute chaos being wrought in Parliament and chronic uncertainty. Companies upping sticks left, right and centre, both parties deeply divided, the prospect of no deal still hanging over us, and a population that is no clearer - not far off 3 years on from the referendum - about what the eventual outcome will be.

    But, don't worry, we'll soon have £350m heading straight for the NHS once we leave. That's right, isn't it?

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    Well said John.

  • Andrew Hill

    Not sure what rock they live under but our local market is positively thriving, a little bit of uncertainty but nothing we can't handle.

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    Business is booming where we are. Stop blaming Brexit! There is only uncertainty because some people cannot accept a democratic vote!

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    Brexit may be a factor - but the usual boom bust cycle of the UK property market should also be taken into account.

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    • 16 March 2019 19:28 PM

    The effects of SDLT should not be underestimated.
    Most people move to a bigger property.
    Well the SDLT could pay for a loft extension thereby facilitating the bigger property desired.
    SDLT as currently levied is a severe impediment to moving.
    Affordability is a major issue as MMR has since been introduced and borrowers under the old criteria cannot achieve the mortgage they require to move.
    It is largely Govt policy that is causing the logjam.
    BrExit has nothing to do with it.
    Things were like this way before BrExit.
    Abolishing the SDLT surcharge should occur immediately.
    Reform or even abolishment of SDLT should occur.
    A flat rate charge for ALL properties no matter what the value should occur.
    Say £2000 per sale.
    Doing this would cause mass selling and buying with the result that the Govt might even receive more SDLT into Treasury coffers than is currently the case.
    I believe that in the Spring Statement that due to the reduction in Corporation tax more tax has been received than when it was a higher rate.
    I know the lefty idiots can never work this out but the fewer taxes you charge the more actual tax you receive.
    Low taxes promote more economic activity and consequently generate more tax receipts.
    As for BrExit the UK voted to leave the EU protectionist racket which was designed to keep French peasants working and Germans to sell their expensive goods.
    That is why we had those stupid butter mountains and wine lakes.
    The last thing the EU wants is to expose itself to the world economy.
    Doing so would bankrupt the EU which is simply not viable without restrictive trade barriers in place.
    It would result in even more unemployment in the EU.
    The UK is better off out of the EU.
    By the way the figure on the side of the coach was an example of what the EU contribution monies could be spent on.
    The point being it would be the UK Govt that decided what the monies were spent on NOT the EU.
    No Deal is the better option.
    We managed perfectly well before the Common Market.
    The EU still wants to trade with the UK and vice versa.
    It DOESN'T pay for either party to make trade difficult for eachother.


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