A survey of mortgage experts conducted by one of the largest specialist buy to let lenders suggests that Brexit is hitting the market and deterring borrowers.
The survey, by Paragon, is forecasting mortgage growth to be its lowest for 11 years with Brexit impacting lower property demand, prices and availability.
Paragon is a leading provider of BTL mortgages for landlords and also offers second charge and specialist residential mortgages; it conducts a monthly confidence tracker based on a regular survey of over 200 mortgage intermediaries.
The latest results, looking back over the second half of 2018, found that 57 per cent of advisers felt that Brexit had a negative impact on demand for properties, with 56 per cent saying it had put downward pressure on house prices and 44 per cent reporting a dampening effect on the availability of property.
In contrast, only five per cent highlighted a positive impact against any of these factors.
When asked about the impact Brexit was likely to have on the market in the early part of 2019, the overall expectation was that the negative effect would intensify before things got better.
However, despite the market disruption, very few advisers said they would take the opportunity to change the way they voted in the referendum if given the chance. Just under half (47 per cent) said they would still vote to remain, one third (33 per cent) reported that they would still vote to leave and an equal proportion – three per cent in each case – said they would switch their vote.
The remaining 14 per cent opted to keep their preference private.
John Heron, managing director of mortgages at Paragon, says: “Brexit uncertainty is causing a measurable slowdown across the UK housing market as potential buyers and sellers adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach. As political negotiations move into the final phase, hopes are high for a workable solution and a much-anticipated Brexit bounce.”