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89% of Exeter Homeowners are over 35 – The effect of their Brexit vote on the Exeter Property Market

89% of Exeter Homeowners are over 35 – The effect of their Brexit vote on the Exeter Property Market

Well it’s 8 weeks since the Referendum vote and we have had a chance to reflect on the momentous decision that the British public took. Many of you read the article I wrote on the morning of the results. I had gone to bed the night before with a draft of my Remain article nicely all but finished, to be presented, at just after 5am, with the declaration by the BBC saying we were leaving the EU. I don’t think any of us were expecting that.

If you want to read a copy of that original Post Brexit blog post, please visit my blog www.exeterpropertyblog.com and scroll back to late June to find it. In this article I would like to take my thoughts on from that initial article and now start to see the clearer picture as the dust settles on the UK, but more importantly, the Exeter Property Market.

In case you weren’t aware, the residents of the Exeter City Council area went against the National mood and voted as follows…

Exeter City Council     Remain Votes  35,270             (55.3% of the vote)

Exeter City Council     Leave Votes   28,533             (44.7% of the vote)

Exeter City Council Turnout            73.8%

I have been reading there is some evidence to indicate younger voters were vastly more likely to vote Remain than their parents and grandparents and, whilst the polling industry’s techniques may have been widely criticised, following them getting both the 2010 General Election and the recent Brexit vote wrong, anecdotally, many surveys seem to suggest there was a relationship between age and likelihood to support leaving the EU.

Interestingly, the average age of an Exeter resident is 38.1 years old, which is below the national average of 39.3, which might go someway to back up the way Exeter voted? What I do know is that putting aside whether you were a remain or leave voter, the vote to leave has, and will, create uncertainty and the last thing the British property market needs is uncertainty (because as with previous episodes of uncertainty in the UK economy – UK house prices have tended to go down).

Interestingly, when we look at the Homeownership rates in the Exeter City Council area, of the 29,912 properties that are owned in the Exeter City Council area (Owned being owned outright, owned with a mortgage or shared ownership), the age range paints a noteworthy picture.

Age 16 to 34 homeowners    3,421      or     11.4%  (Nationally 9.6%)

Age 35 to 49 homeowners    8,147      or     27.2%  (Nationally 29.2%)

Age 50 to 64 homeowners    8,724      or     29.2%  (Nationally 30.7%)

Aged 65+ homeowners         9,620      or     32.6%  (Nationally 30.5%)

So, looking at these figures, and the high proportion of older homeowners, you might think all the Exeter City Council area homeowners would vote Remain to keep house prices stable and younger people would vote out so house prices come down- so they could afford to buy?

But there’s a risk in oversimplifying this. The sample of the polling firms are in the thousands whilst the country voted in its millions. Other demographic influences have been at play in the way people voted, as early evidence is starting to suggest that class, level of education, the levels of immigration and ethnic diversity had an influence on the way the various parts of the UK voted.

So what I suggest is this – Don’t assume everyone over the age of 50 voted ‘Leave’ and don’t assume most 20 somethings backed ‘Remain’; because many didn’t!

.. and the Exeter Property Market – well read my original article in the Exeter Property Blog and you can make your own mind up.

Michael Fredriksson

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