There has been a sharp decline in the number of in EU nationals looking to move to the UK following the Brexit referendum which is placing downward pressure on rental demand across many parts of the UK, fresh figures suggest.
In the run up to the referendum, the number of EU nationals looking to move to the UK was up by 14.7%, but in the same 10 months following the EU vote that dropped to growth of just 4.35%, according to new analysis of traffic to SpareRoom.co.uk.
According to the flatshare website, the UK’s decision to leave the EU has caused a particular decline in people from Eastern Europe looking to rent here, led by an 8% fall from those coming from Slovakia, followed by Poland (5.54% decline), Hungary (-3.18%), Romania (-2.78%) and Estonia (-2.21%).
“With so much uncertainty over what Brexit really means, it’s no surprise to see interest in moving to the UK from EU countries in decline. Until people know how their freedom of movement and right to reside will be affected it’s hard for them to make long term decisions,” said SpareRoom director Matt Hutchinson.
“Key Eastern European countries like Poland, Slovakia and Romania, which have traditionally supplied large number of workers to the UK, are showing the biggest drops in traffic,” he added.
The data indicates that the result of last year’s referendum is also deterring many immigrants from outside of the EU coming to the UK.
Growth in non-UK traffic in the period following the EU referendum ran at 8.73%, compared to 19.65% at the corresponding period before the referendum.
The UK also saw a decline in interest from the US, except for when the Donald Trump won the elections with the rental market experiencing a spike in interest around the election result last November.
Hutchinson added: “We also saw a spike in interest in moving to the UK from the USA in the weeks surrounding the presidential election last year. While it’s probably too simplistic to entirely put that down to anti-Trump sentiment, the timing suggests that’s a factor.”