The UK formally leaves the European Union at 11pm tonight, at which point it will instantly enter into an 11-month transition period and that means the UK will continue to abide by EU rules and pay money to the EU27.
But while most things will remain the same in the short-term, there will be some changes, including no more UK MEPs, no UK presence at EU summits, blue passports will be making a return by replacing the existing burgundy passports, a commemorative 50p Brexit coin will be introduced, while the Department for Exiting the European Union, set up by former Prime Minister Theresa May in 2016, will cease to exist.
Andy Foote, director, SevenCapital, commented: “The UK and the world will be waiting with bated breath for the clock to strike.
“Die hard Brexiteers will be preparing to celebrate the beginning of a new dawn and what happens from here, which, let’s be honest, no one is quite sure of yet.
“The question for the property market, and indeed crucially the financial markets, is will we see a post-Brexit bounce?”
There are genuine signs of optimism in the housing market at the moment, with evidence of a sudden uplift in buyer demand now the general election is over.
According to Rightmove, demand across the UK from prospective buyers increased by 28% in the four days after the election compared to the same four days in 2018, with the biggest jump recorded in London, up 54% year-on-year.
Many analysts forecast that there will be growth in 2020, owed in part to what some are describing as a ‘Boris bounce’ in the economy, and thus a healthier housing market, as we break away from political ambiguity. Although it remains to be seen if this potential boost in the market is likely to be short-lived.
Foote continued: “With the general consensus appearing to be a desire to make Brexit work, we can likely expect an uplift and return to ‘business as usual’ – in comparison to a more hesitant marketplace over previous months.
“How long this uplift will continue however will hinge on the next steps within the transition period. It is perhaps the summit in June where Britain and the EU will come together to review progress of negotiations so far and whether all deals will be reached in time to begin on January 1st 2021, which will be most telling of all.
“We watch this space in anticipation.
“In the meantime, what is apparent and is important to take note of, particularly for property investors and buyers wondering whether to buy now or wait, is that whilst we’re in this period of uncertainty, house prices are still growing – however slow they might seem. This is the market simply saying it wants to move, but “let’s just hang fire for a moment whilst we find out what is happening”; It’s potentially an opportunity for the less risk-averse to invest or buy before the bounce and wait for the market to return to higher growth again.”