Chancellor says house prices could fall by up to 18% if UK votes to leave EU

Taylor Scott International News

House values in the UK could fall by 10% and up to 18% due to the economic shock that would hit the country if people vote to leave the European Union in the referendum next month, according to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. George Osborne, speaking at the G7 finance ministers’ meeting in Japan, revealed that the forthcoming Treasury analysis on the short term economic consequences of a vote to leave will demonstrate a wide range of negative impacts on families and businesses, including the housing market. It concludes that by 2018, home owners will be hit as growth in Britain’s housing market will be reduced by at least 10% and up to 18% compared to what is expected if the UK remains in the EU, as heightened uncertainty generated by Brexit hits financial markets, consumer confidence and home values. Independent authorities, including the International Monetary Fund, have warned that if Britain votes to leave the EU then mortgage interest rates would also rise because of financial market instability, meaning fewer people being able to get a mortgage and mortgage costs rising for all. The Treasury conclusion follows warnings from Virgin Money’s Chief Executive, the CEBR, S&P, Fitch and Deutsche Bank about the potential negative impact on Britain’s housing market from a vote to leave the EU. The Chancellor said finance ministers from other G7 countries attending the summit in Sendai confirmed that in their assessment, leaving the EU could cause significant financial market turbulence, affecting families and businesses. The Chancellor also challenged the idea that negotiating a new relationship with the EU would be easy if the UK votes to leave, warning that instead it would be a long, costly and messy divorce. In the coming days the Treasury is going to publish analysis of what the immediate impact will be. Osborne also said that mortgages will get more expensive and mortgage rates will go up. ‘If we leave the European Union there will be an immediate economic shock that will hit financial markets. People will not know what the future looks like. And in the long term the country and the people in the country are going to be poorer,’ Osborne said. ‘That affects the value of people’s homes and the Treasury analysis shows that there would be a hit to the value of people’s homes by at least 10% and up to 18%. And at the same time first time buyers are hit because mortgage rates go up, and mortgages become more difficult to get. So it's a lose-lose situation,’ he pointed out. ‘We all want affordable homes, and the way you get affordable homes is by building more houses. You don't get affordable homes by wrecking the British economy. And of course if we left the EU, mortgage rates would go up, it would become more difficult… Taylor Scott International

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