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Brexit has been a pain for many industries throughout these past 3 years. House builders and buyers haven’t been spared. However, it seems as though the industry has been making a killing of late as Brexit fatigue sets in.
And with the UK’s EU exit being delayed until October 31st, the housing market has started seeing quite strong activity as “Bored of Brexit” home buyers are tired of holding off on life altering decisions due to political deadlock.
The average asking price on a home jumped by nearly £3500 in April. Although the increase is usual at this time of year, this 1.1% rise is the biggest MoM rise in over a year according to property websites. But uncertainty is still the flavour of the current political landscape. And this 6 month window of relative security is enough encouragement for people relocating due to family or job reasons.
On the home builder’s side, the eventual British exit from the European Union will also mean less red-tape. This should translate into less of a hustle to get started on construction.
But a rise in price for new-to-the-market properties and demand in general isn’t the be-all end-all for the housing market. The current average asking price on a home of £305,449 is still 0.1% lower than a year ago. And although the market can take a breather until Halloween, the shadow of uncertain political backdrop still looms. The number of properties coming to market, number of sales agreed and new seller asking prices are all still below this time last year.
Stock side, the major FTSE 100 Household Goods & Home Constuction companies are all trading a strong YTD increase for April. The best performers are Taylor Wimpey (+38.28% YTD 19) and Barrat Developments (+31.98% YTD 19).
And even if these numbers are very encouraging in the big picture for the industry , the uncertain political climate and changes in policy are still felt throughout recent weeks and months. Persimmon has been the subject of a help-to-buy and executive pay scandal and its shares have been down as much as 17% from their yearly record highs in March.
In anticipation of a previously scheduled March 29th exit date from the European Union, UK construction stocks fell 1.6% MoM. People being unsure about their future after the end of the month tends not to be the best consumption and relocation stimulus.
Brexit or not, The housing industry is teeming with activity. House builders are now going to be reporting over the next few weeks, with Taylor Wimpey coming out as soon as next Thursday. Will a fresh round of reporting coupled with better weather for construction and this prolonged stay of Brexecution propel this sector through the summer?
So whether you are bullish or bearish on a post-Brexit home sector, get access to our handpicked stocks and analysis with our Research Gold Pass. Maybe you will even spot a house you like while researching the market!
Avin Nirula, Trader, 18.04.2019
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