UK house prices could tumble in the event of a no-deal Brexit, but would not fall as far they did during the financial crisis a decade ago, rating agency Moody’s said.
There would be “outright declines in house prices nationally” if Britain crashes out of the European Union without a deal next March, analysts said.
They added, however, that: “any deceleration in house prices will be less severe than during the last financial crisis, given less inflationary stresses within the market.”
Moody’s predicted that total net migration to the UK would be lower in 2019, which it said would hit housing prices, particularly around the capital.
“In 2019, we expect net migration to be lower, affecting both the housing and rental markets, especially in London and the south east", said Rodrigo Conde Puentes, assistant vice-president and analyst at Moody's. “The house price slowdown, however, would be modest under a negotiated Brexit deal and greater without one.”
Moody’s calculated house price inflation would stay low if a deal is struck between negotiators, hitting between two and three per cent in the medium term.
In its full report, Moody’s said that the buy-to-let market could accelerate price falls, as house prices are rising quicker than rents – tempting landlords into selling properties outright.
Earlier this month, the BBC reported that Bank of England governor Mark Carney had warned Cabinet ministers that house prices could drop by up to a third in the event of a worst-case scenario no-deal Brexit.
It was later said that Carney had merely been describing the Bank’s modelling, and that the 33 per cent drop described was not a prediction.