Brexit, tax and lending criteria are biggest challenges for UK property

Uncertainty connected with Brexit, higher taxation and stricter lending criteria are among the toughest challenges facing the UK’s property market, new research has found.

The survey of investors, landlords, owner occupiers and insolvency practitioners shows that 38% of respondents highlighted uncertainty around Brexit as the biggest challenge affecting the property sector.

Some 24% said it was higher taxation and 17% named stricter lending criteria from banks as a cause for concern in the survey published by auction firm John Pye.

However, despite these concerns, the majority of responses painted a positive picture of the current market. Around 44% said that more property sales were taking place compared to five years ago and 56% felt that regional markets were experiencing growth.

Results also suggested that property investments were becoming more accessible to investors, with 62% seeing an increase in the number of affordable properties coming to market, and 56% said they felt that there were more appealing investment opportunities available compared to five years ago.

Respondents also noted a change in the variation of property available on the current market. Some 60% agreed that there is a greater range of property investment opportunities available now compared to five years ago, with almost 70% noting an increase in the number of mixed use opportunities available.

In terms of future plans, figures suggest that investors plan to diversify their portfolios and focus more on securing long term tenancies for their properties rather than pushing up yields.

Around 82% said investors were increasingly diversifying their portfolios in response to market conditions, while 72% said that securing a longer term tenancy was more important than achieving the highest possible rental yield.

Richard Reed, head of property at John Pye Property, said the survey had provided a valuable insight into the opinions, challenges and concerns of major property players and a useful way of engaging with existing and new clients and determining what they’re looking for.

‘Some of the results weren’t surprising as Brexit uncertainty remains a challenge for many and investors are choosing to diversify their portfolio as a result of taxation changes. We were interested to gather insight on investor behaviour and increasing confidence in the regional markets,’ he explained.