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Leave-voting areas exhibit the most confidence in property market

Brexit voting areas are displaying the most confidence in the property market, stats released by comparison site NetAnAgent have revealed.

While the current weaknesses of the UK property market – particularly in London – have been attributed to the uncertainty being caused by Brexit, and the increasing likelihood of a no-deal scenario, it’s not the case that everyone is feeling down about the sector.

In fact, how people voted in the EU referendum seems to play a big part in how positively (or otherwise) they see the current market. The findings revealed that some of the strongest pro-Leave areas in the UK remain confident when it comes to putting their properties on the market

The data from NetAnAgent.com examined how many website enquiries (those who register their details on the platform) are going to valuation with estate agents. This, in turn, helps to show the level of confidence sellers are currently feeling across the UK and how likely they are to put their home on the market.

Hull, where 65% of people voted to Leave, is witnessing 28% above the national average of properties going to valuation, highlighting the confidence residents feel in listing their property on the market and subsequently getting it sold. Meanwhile, Bradford (54% Leave) is 20% up on the average and Stoke-on-Trent (one of the country’s most ardent Leave voting areas with 69% backing an exit from the EU) 4% more likely to go to valuation.

By comparison, Remain stronghold Brexit (which voted by 62% to 38% to stay in the EU) is at the bottom of NetAnAgent’s confidence index – some 44% less likely to list than the national average. Manchester (60% Remain) is down 12% and Brighton (69% Remain) down 4% on the national listing index average.

London – despite its well-documented troubles – is actually holding up pretty well according to the data, with homeowners 4% more likely to go to valuation. 

“It’s interesting to see that the way different areas voted in the EU referendum does seem to have had an impact on how they view the state of the UK property market with a good number of ‘Leave’ areas showing greater levels of confidence than those who voted ‘Remain’,” Alex Thorpe, chief executive of NetAnAgent, commented.

“It suggests that the market is very sentiment driven with Remainers being more pessimistic about the prospect of putting their house on the market, measured by how many of them are going to valuation through the NetAnAgent site, a key early indicator of confidence in the market.”

NetAnAgent’s data also highlights how online agents may be helping to influence the cost of selling a home. Fees from traditional agents have fallen by an average of 15% across the UK compared to the same period in 2016. Some areas, in fact, have witnessed a fall of up to 40%.

In Leeds, for example, the average agent fee has fallen from 1.45% in 2016 to 1.18% in 2018, a proportional reduction of 18.6%. This means sellers would now pay £2,439.65 in fees compared to £2,997.88 in 2016.

Throughout the UK this means that sellers can now expect to save, on average, £307 on their house sale when using a traditional local agent. On the other hand, online fees appear to have risen on average 27% in the past two years - up from £587.25 to £804.75 - as they seek to improve their service level and offer more to sellers.

“We have certainly seen something of a closing of the gap of agents’ fees over the last few years as traditional agents have lowered their fees to compete with the online and hybrid models now in the market,” Thorpe added. “Interestingly there are pockets across the country where agents selling more exclusive properties have actually raised their fees to reflect the drop in transactions. They are subject to less pressure from the hybrid agents, so have retained some flexibility with regard to fees.”

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