Over 1m people have put off moving house because of Brexit

Helen Cahill
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People are staying put until they know more about the Brexit deal (Source: Getty)

More than 1m people in the UK have put-off their plans to move homes due to the uncertainties surrounding the Brexit vote.

New research shows the scale of the problem faced by estate agents, who are struggling as the UK property market has slowed over the past year.

A survey by the HomeOwners Alliance has found that 15 per cent of people postponed their moving plans this year, and that one in six of those said the reason was Brexit.

Read more: Battersea Power Station boss issues rallying call over stamp duty

High rates of stamp duty had put off nearly 650,000 people from moving home, the HomeOwners Alliance said.

Analysis by Jefferies Bank has shown that in London transaction volumes have fallen by 25 per cent in the year to the middle of March, which has depressed the pool of sales from which estate agents can draw fees. London-focused estate agents, such as Foxtons, have lost out as a result. Its profits more than halved last year.

Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, said that there will be further instability in the UK property market when Prime Minister Theresa May triggers Article 50 this week.

"The housing market needs certainty in order to be able to function most efficiently," Higgins said. "The government could help to ameliorate the situation, by looking again at stamp duty. It remains stubbornly high and acts as a drag on the market."

The property industry has been pushing for stamp duty to be cut to encourage home-movers. The boss of the Battersea Power Station development, Rob Tincknell, has started a group that will use data to lobby government on stamp duty reform.