Uncertain Politics Leaves London Homeowners Feeling Wary

Owning a home in London is a position that most would envy, but recent figures from home improvement marketplace Plentific.com have suggested that London homeowners may not be as certain of their position as we would have thought.

In a recent survey, carried out by Opinium, Plentific asked 1014 UK homeowners about whether their decision to sell their property within the next 12 months had been be affected by recent political developments, namely the hung parliament and ongoing negotiations surrounding Brexit. The results showed that only 24% of homeowners feel that the recent political situation necessitates a change of plans. However, this compares to a whopping 55% of homeowners in the nation’s capital.

In other words, it would appear that there is a far less certainty in London about how the property market will be affected by these recent development than there is elsewhere in the UK.

“Last year, the Brexit vote sent shockwaves across the nation,” said Stephen Jury, a spokesperson for Plentific. “One year on, the recent general election and the resulting hung parliament, as well as ongoing Brexit negotiations, have had a similar effect. These political events have all had a huge impact on homeowners looking to either sell or renovate their property.”

The question of whether to ‘move or improve’ is one that everyone on the property ladder must address at some point. In a seller’s market, it can make more sense to add space or features to your property through home improvements rather than seeking an upgrade elsewhere.

On the one hand, it would seem that homeowners in London are eager to simply sell and move on. Of the 55% who said their decision of whether to sell over the next 12 months had been affected, 32% said they were now more likely. This trend continues when we look at the replies to the question of selling within the next three or five years: the majority of Londoners consistently said that their decision had been affected, and within this group more said that they were likely to sell than not. 


However, London also topped the tables in another section of the survey, which asked how likely homeowners were were to carry out home improvements on their properties over the next 12 months. Of those that responded, 39% of Londoners said they were more likely to do so. Given the increasing number of Londoners that are thinking about selling up, could this suggest that more are thinking about improving their property in the short term before selling it down the line for a larger profit?

Granted, there is only so much that you can take from this. The statistics do not, for example, cover the stance of homeowners who said that recent political changes had not had an impact on their decisions at all. You must also consider the fact that property prices in London are much higher than those elsewhere in the UK, even taking into account recent reductions, and so you could volunteer the point that London property owners must pay much closer attention to potential market developments in order to protect their investments.

One thing that is for certain is this: even one year after Britain’s exit from the EU was announced, there is still a huge degree of uncertainty in the property market. With an increasing number of UK homeowners reconsidering their position on the property ladder, it is safe to say that anyone wanting to reach the higher rungs as painlessly as possible will need to keep a very close eye on the news.