The truth is, no-one knows for sure. Whenever it comes to the future, all you can make is predictions: nothing is known with certainty. Therefore the best you can do is to be aware of what experts are saying as to what the potential impact could be, and use it to make an informed decision. Whilst experts have been much-maligned of late in various quarters, an educated opinion is better to work with than a complete guess!
One of many complicating factors is that most agree that the type of Brexit that we have, and indeed whether it happens at all, will have a large impact on how Brexit affects house prices. Since that is still up in the air, as of October 2019, then this needs to be taken into account when trying to work out the likely options. A deal has been agreed in principle but whether it will go through the Commons with or without significant amendments, waits to be seen.
As a general rule, markets dislike uncertainty, and therefore since there is still uncertainty, then most agree that this has had an impact on the market in recent years since the referendum result, and there has been a slowing of house price growth year on year.
A no-deal Brexit is considered the most dramatic outcome by many, and some large companies have predicted a major impact on house prices if there were a no deal Brexit: according to this article on the Independent website, KPMG have said a price drop of 10% to 20% in the event of a no deal Brexit is not out of the question. That's clearly a very significant fall, and even the expected fall in the event of a no deal Brexit of around 6% is clearly a significant figure.
And what if a deal is approved? Many experts feel more positive about house prices if, instead of leaving without a deal, there is a deal approved. The belief generally held is that the certainty that a deal brings will lead to prices climbing slightly. Most are aware the fundamentals seem unlikely to change much: a great demand for homes and an undersupply as house building still continues at relatively low rates.
What does all of this mean for first-time buyers? It is purely a personal decision, but the fact that interest rates remain low and with prices not having risen significantly this year, it could be argued that it is still a good time to buy. As well as the resilience of your finances, and attitude to risk, your political thoughts will inevitably come into it: if you think a no deal Brexit is very unlikely, then given a deal will bring a measure of certainty to the market and many think it will at least stabilise prices and possibly lead to an increase, then you may well be more minded to buy than if you think a no deal Brexit is very likely, with the greater uncertainty and therefore potentially greater downside for house prices that could lead to. As always, there is no clear answer.
Last update: 21 Oct 2019
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