Uncertainty surrounding the vote for Brexit is denting confidence in the housing market, causing more homeowners to focus on improving their properties than risk moving somewhere new, a survey suggests.
The poll by Opinium, commissioned by the flooring firm Carpetright, found 41% of homeowners had lost confidence in the property market since the EU referendum on 23 June. A third of those polled said they would now remain where they presently lived.
A third also said they were looking to renovate or redecorate, while 56% believed improvements would add value to their home — and 28% said they would buy a new home when they felt the housing market was stable again.
"It's still too early to say what the effects of Brexit will be, but it's clear that the recent uncertainty in the property market has potentially swayed people towards improving rather than moving, or at least holding off temporarily," said Wilf Walsh, chief executive at Carpetright.
The vote for Brexit has exacerbated existing issues in the housing market, including concerns over affordability for first-time buyers as a supply shortage fuels higher house prices and tax hikes on property investors cools demand.
The average UK house price grew 8.3% over the year to July 2016, down from an annual growth rate of 9.7% in June, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The average UK price stood at £217,000. Month-on-month, the average UK price rose 0.4%.
"House price pressures continued to grow in July, reflecting the strength of demand relative to supply in the housing market," stated the ONS. "However, there were indications that some of the heat had been taken out of the market, with several indicators pointing towards weaker housing demand and supply in recent months."