Thursday 25 August 2016

90.2% of Chelmsford Homeowners are over 35 - The affect of their Brexit vote on the Chelmsford Property Market

Well it’s been 9 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 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 Chelmsford Property Market.

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

Chelmsford City Council         Remain Votes              47,545             (47.2% of the vote)
Chelmsford City Council         Leave Votes                 53,249             (52.8% of the vote)
Chelmsford City Council Turnout       77.6%

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 criticized, 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 a Chelmsford resident is 40.1 years old, which is above the national average of 39.3, which might go someway to back up the way Chelmsford 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 Chelmsford City Council area, of the 51,428 properties that are owned in the Chelmsford 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      5,031    or       9.8%  (Nationally 9.6%)
Age 35 to 49 homeowners    15,630    or     30.4%  (Nationally 29.2%)
Age 50 to 64 homeowners    16,107    or     31.3%  (Nationally 30.7%)
Aged 65+ homeowners         14,660    or     28.5%  (Nationally 30.5%)

So, looking at these figures, and the high proportion of older homeowners, you might think all the Chelmsford 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 Chelmsford Property Market – well read my original article in the Chelmsford Property Blog and you can make your own mind up

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