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No Big Deal For House Prices As Brexit Debate Heats Up

Posted: 26 October 2018

No Big Deal For House Prices As Brexit Debate Heats Up

Brexit could prove to be as big a damp squib as the Millennium bug, when computer systems were rumoured to fail as the clocks rolled over into 2000. Or will it?

The Bank of England governor Mark Carney recently painted a bleak picture of a no-deal Brexit outcome, saying house prices could fall by a third over three years if Britain left the European Union without an agreement in place come March next year.

Carney predicted a no-deal outcome would cause the pound to weaken, raising interest rates and putting pressure on inflation, which in turn would cause mortgage rates to rise.

Homeowners could then find themselves in negative equity – with the value of their properties less than what they had paid for it – and with higher mortgage rates, first time buyers would struggle even more than they already do to get on the property ladder.

A no-deal would also see residency rights for EU nationals in the UK potentially disappear overnight. A disorderly Brexit would also chase away foreign investors who might have once been keen to invest in London property.

To prepare for a messy Brexit, some people are forecasting food shortages and have started stockpiling basic food items such as flour, olive oil, rice, tinned sardines and coffee, as well as medicines.

An unintended consequence of how Brexit is playing out, is that some UK industries are benefitting. Self storage, an industry which has seen good growth over recent years, is one such example. Many UK residents are now looking towards self storage to store all their Brexit necessities. The industry is also benefitting from those looking to simplify their lives ahead of the potential upheaval, by downsizing their homes, moving into smaller accommodation and using self storage to safely and securely store all the goods they no longer have space for.

Comments Susan Williams, a retiree living in Gloucester, “We have been watching the Brexit saga carefully, and to be honest it has made us very nervous. We decided to stock up on some unperishables, and then rented a self storage unit from our local Storage King store where we now keep them. We’ve also now decided to downscale and simplify as who knows what will happen to house prices in the near future. We’re going to store all our bits and pieces in self storage as well until we have a clearer idea of things.”

More realistically though, are businesses considering stockpiling goods to mitigate for a no-deal Brexit that will potentially disrupt trade and supply chains? Word on the self storage street is that there is definitely an increase in businesses looking towards self storage as a result of Brexit. The flexible leases and extensive amount of self storage options make it an easy and relatively risk-free option for them.

It will be interesting to see how much more the self storage industry grows as a result of Brexit.

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