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First-time buyers delay purchases over Brexit uncertainty

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Aspiring homeowners who are financially ready to get on the property ladder are holding off because of Brexit uncertainty, research shows.

More than half (55%) of first-time buyers with a deposit at the ready – the equivalent of at least 136,000 people – believe property prices will drop after the UK leaves the European Union on 29 March.

The study by financial services firm OneFamily polled more than 1,200 UK adults saving for their first home.

Three quarters of those holding off said the economic future was “simply too uncertain” to buy a property at the moment.

This uncertainty is a likely cause for the slowdown in the UK’s property market which is at its weakest in six years, OneFamily said.

However, one in five first-time buyers will purchase a property before Brexit, the findings suggest. Common reasons include they have already found their ideal property and they don’t mind losing money on it (29%) and they have waited long enough (22%). Just 15% said they don’t think Brexit will affect property prices.

Nearly three in five (57%) of those surveyed said high property prices were preventing them from buying a home.

One in five (19%) said they would be able to buy if house prices dropped by 5%, with a further 30% able to buy if they dropped by 10%.

Nici Audhlam-Gardiner, managing director of Lifetime ISAs at OneFamily, said: “At times of uncertainty it’s always hard to know what to do – do you wait and see, or carry on regardless?

“For many, market fluctuations as a result of Brexit could give them a golden opportunity to get on the housing ladder. Those who are planning to put off their purchase can use the additional time to make the most of the top up funding available from the government schemes, such as the Lifetime ISA.”

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