If you’re a satirist, Brexit is the gift which keeps on giving. If you’re anybody else, Brexit is probably something you’d really like to see resolved one way or another so you can get on with your life with some idea of what the future is likely to bring (even if you don’t necessarily like it). If you’re involved with the property market, Brexit could raise all kinds of interesting questions, the answers to which may depend on your personal situation.
If you’re a renter
Brexit isn’t the only reason why it can be challenging to find good rental properties, although it’s unlikely to be helping. As a renter, the first question to ask is whether or not you actually want to stay where you are. If you do, then the next question is whether or not you can reasonably expect to be able to afford to stay where you are. If the answers to both these questions are yes, your best approach may be to continue “as is” for the time being, but to prepare yourself for a potential move if circumstances change. For example, declutter your belongings as best as you can and try to save some money so you have a deposit handy. If you have pets, then consider the possibility that you may have to start paying “pet rent” due to the limits on deposits.
If you’re a landlord
Property investment is all about the numbers and now is a really good time to review your numbers and think about how you would navigate your way through whatever Brexit might feasibly throw at you. In particular, think about what you might do if interest rates were to go up and/or if income tax was to be increased (or a new tax levied on landlords). If you’re currently living on the investment edge, you may want to think about reducing your portfolio.
If you’re looking to buy
All the standard buying guidelines still apply and need to be taken seriously. For example, you will want as big a deposit as you can possibly put together and you can expect to be grilled thoroughly about your ability to afford a mortgage over the long term. That said, if you’re in a fairly stable, “Brexit-proof” job, you could be in an excellent position to buy now, while other people are sitting on the sidelines to see what Brexit is going to throw their way.
If you’re looking to sell
Buyers are still active, although the degree of buyer activity can vary widely throughout the UK. This means that if you are thinking about selling, it’s probably a good idea to try to take a firm decision sooner rather than later so that you give yourself the maximum, possible time to sell your home. It’s also strongly recommended to pay close attention to presentation and to be realistic about pricing. You will also want to choose your estate agent with care, specifically, make sure you can have confidence in their ability and willingness to deal with any complications which arise after an offer has been accepted.
If you’re a homeowner looking to stay put
If you are a homeowner looking to stay put, then the key question is whether or not you can afford your mortgage over the long term, regardless of what happens as a result of Brexit. If you are at all unsure about this, then you need to look seriously at what action you can take to address the situation. For example, you might want to think about moving two children into one room so you can take advantage of the Rent a Room scheme. You might also want to look at your mortgage deal and see if there is any way you can improve it. For example, you might want to take out a fixed-rate mortgage so that you know that you will have the same payments each month regardless of what interest rates are doing.
If you’d like more information please speak to one of our mortgage advisors
Your property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
The FCA does not regulate estate agents and some forms of buy to let mortgage
For estate agents we act as introducers only.