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The Impact of Brexit on the UK Property Market: What Buyers Should Know

Since the historic vote in 2016, Brexit has remained a defining issue for the UK, significantly influencing various sectors of the economy, including the property market. As the dust begins to settle post-Brexit,property experts including estate agents in Cumbria agree that it is crucial for prospective buyers to understand how the changes impact their purchasing decisions. In this blog, we will explore the key changes and challenges affecting the UK property market after Brexit and what buyers should consider in this new landscape.

An Overview of Brexit’s Immediate Impact

Economic Uncertainty and Market Fluctuations

Immediately after the Brexit referendum, the UK property market experienced fluctuations due to economic uncertainty. Key impacts included:

  • Decrease in Property Prices: In London and the Southeast, the traditionally robust market saw a slowdown, with property prices dropping by around 1.5% in the year following the referendum.
  • Currency Volatility: The British pound fell sharply, which initially discouraged foreign investors but later created opportunities for overseas buyers due to favourable exchange rates.
  • Decline in Market Confidence: Uncertainty led to a wait-and-see approach among both domestic and foreign buyers, reducing transaction volumes.

Market Resilience and Regional Variation

Despite initial instability, the market showed resilience, with regional variations emerging:

  • London and Southeast Slowdown: The prime London market, heavily reliant on foreign investors, suffered the most significant impact.
  • Growth in Regional Markets: Cities like Manchester, Birmingham, and Edinburgh showed relative growth due to rising demand for more affordable properties.

Brexit-Driven Policy Changes Affecting Buyers

Immigration and Demand for Property

  • Labour Shortages: Changes to immigration policies have led to labour shortages in construction, impacting new housing supply.
  • Foreign Buyers and Property Demand: New immigration rules affect international professionals, potentially reducing demand for prime city properties.

Stamp Duty Changes

In response to Brexit uncertainty, the government introduced new stamp duty measures:

  • Foreign Buyer Surcharge: Since April 2021, non-UK residents purchasing residential property in England and Northern Ireland pay a 2% surcharge on stamp duty.
  • First-Time Buyer Relief: Brexit-driven economic uncertainty prompted greater incentives for first-time buyers.

Changes to Taxation and Investment

  • Capital Gains Tax: Non-UK residents selling residential property are now subject to capital gains tax, impacting foreign investment in UK property.
  • Buy-to-Let Investors: Changes to mortgage interest relief have affected buy-to-let investors, reducing their overall returns.

Trade Agreements and Construction Costs

  • Supply Chain Issues: New trade rules led to delays and increased costs for importing construction materials.
  • Rising Construction Costs: Labour shortages and material delays have caused construction costs to rise, potentially impacting property prices.

Navigating the Post-Brexit Property Market: What Buyers Should Know

Market Opportunities for Buyers

  1. Favourable Exchange Rates: The weaker pound presents opportunities for foreign buyers, particularly those purchasing high-value properties.
  2. Incentives for First-Time Buyers: Relief on stamp duty and government-backed schemes like Help to Buy offer advantageous conditions for first-time buyers.
  3. Regional Growth Markets: Areas like the Midlands, North of England, and Scotland present affordable opportunities with strong potential for capital appreciation.

Challenges for Buyers

  1. Higher Transaction Costs: Stamp duty surcharges and tax changes can increase costs for international buyers and investors.
  2. Supply Chain Disruption: Delays in construction projects could lead to limited housing supply and potential price increases.
  3. Labour Market Uncertainty: Immigration changes could impact rental demand in areas reliant on international workers.

Key Considerations for Buyers

  1. Location-Specific Research: Understanding regional market trends is crucial in identifying growth areas and avoiding potential downturns.
  2. Budget for Higher Costs: Buyers should factor in additional costs like stamp duty surcharges, currency exchange fluctuations, and potential delays in property development.
  3. Seek Professional Advice: Engaging with property professionals like estate agents, tax advisors, and conveyancers will help navigate the complex post-Brexit landscape.

Government Support and Buyer Incentives

  1. Help to Buy: The equity loan scheme has been extended to March 2023 to support first-time buyers.
  2. 95% Mortgage Guarantee Scheme: Launched to encourage lenders to offer higher loan-to-value mortgages, aiding buyers with smaller deposits.
  3. Stamp Duty Holiday: Although now phased out, the holiday accelerated transactions and improved market confidence during the pandemic.

The Future of the UK Property Market Post-Brexit

Emerging Trends

  1. Urban Exodus and Suburban Growth: The pandemic has accelerated a shift from city centres to suburban and rural areas, impacting regional property dynamics.
  2. Build-to-Rent Market Expansion: The build-to-rent sector is poised for growth as private renters seek high-quality accommodation.
  3. Sustainable Development: Demand for environmentally friendly homes is expected to rise due to changing buyer preferences and government regulations.

Outlook and Predictions

  1. Price Growth in Regional Markets: Experts predict continued growth in regions like the Midlands, the North, and Scotland due to affordability and infrastructure investments.
  2. Moderate London Recovery: London’s prime market is expected to gradually recover as international travel restrictions ease and confidence returns.
  3. Supply Chain Stabilisation: Government efforts to stabilise supply chains could ease construction delays, improving new housing supply.


Brexit definitely has already made an impact on the UK property market, flooding it with changes that pose challenges but also offer some opportunities to buyers. The dynamics and regional variations in the ever-changing market are best understood as yet more necessary factors, besides being aware of the policy changes, before venturing to make any informed property decision.

These will, without a doubt of the uncertainty, differentiate those who get some of the better results, whether one is a first-time buyer, an investor, or an international purchaser reshaping his strategy in the new post-Brexit landscape.

There are unique investment opportunities and housing options for one to invest in, from the UK resilient property market, which continues to lure buyers from across the globe. That is where knowledge is power: armed with this information and the requisite professional advice, buyers will be well-prepared to negotiate a very complicated set of circumstances to take advantage of the emerging trends shaping the future for UK property.


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