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Leave-voting areas lead in house price growth since Brexit referendum

  • New research reveals that house prices in leave areas have grown most
  • Castle Point, Wellingborough, and Thanet see greatest increase
  • Remain voting areas of London like Kensington, Westminster, and Richmond struggle

After yet another Brexit delay, new research has revealed how property prices in Leave-majority areas in England and Wales out performed those in Remain-voting local authorities in the three years since the referendum.

Proportunity, which provides Help to Buy-style equity loans, identified the most popular property type in each local authority and analysed their performance on price per square metre basis from June 2016 to June 2019.

The fintech firm, which has an AI-powered analytics platform to help buyers identify over- or under-valued properties, found that districts that had a Leave-majority typically outperformed pro-Remain areas, with eight of the top ten best performing local authorities* having pro-Brexit majorities.

Proportunity looked at both overall growth and the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for its analysis, and focused on England and Wales exclusively as Northern Ireland and Scotland use different data sets to record property prices. Neither Northern Ireland or Scotland had a local authority that recorded a Leave-majority vote either.

Leave voting areas has seen an average 9.97% of overall growth since 2016, while Remain areas have only grown by an average of 8.13%, although Remain areas typically had higher property prices to begin with.

The top performing local authority in England and Wales over the last three years has been Castle Point (72.70% Leave), situated on the north edge of the Thames Estuary in Essex, one of the most pro-Brexit counties in England.

Prices of detached houses – the most popular property type in Castle Point – have increased by 23% since the Brexit vote, while detached homes in neighbouring Thurrock (72.3% Leave) enjoyed 20.2% growth. Both local authorities recorded some of the highest Leave majorities in the UK.

Other Leave-voting areas in the top ten performing local authorities include Wellingborough, Thanet, Salford, Rochford, Stevenage and Corby.

Only the Remain-majority London Borough of Newham (52.8% Remain) and the city of Manchester (60.4% Remain) were in the ten best performing districts.

However, the ten worst performing local authorities contained a more balanced mix, with five districts from each Brexit camp represented.

The London boroughs of Camden, Westminster, Richmond upon Thames and Kensington & Chelsea (all pro-Remain) sit in the bottom of the rankings alongside the leave-majority districts of Middlesborough, Eden, Allerdale, Preston and Hartlepool. The only pro-Remain non-London borough in the bottom ten was the Welsh county of Ceredigion.

While there may have been concerns that Leave-voting areas in England and Wales would be hardest hit by a drop in EU trade post-Brexit, their property markets have been outperforming Remain areas since the referendum result was announced.

Obviously this isn’t purely down to Brexit, with local factors at play and Leave-majority districts typically being on the more affordable side to begin with.

London, which is overrepresented in the ten worst performing areas, has its own specific issues. The top end of the market has been hit hard by stamp duty reforms while first-time buyers in the capital are struggling to get on the housing ladder in the capital thanks to the eye-wateringly high deposits required, with the high cost of living in London generally eating into their ability to save enough cash for a down payment.

*Only 24% of areas voted to remain (in England and Wales).

The Research 

Proportunity used its AI-powered analytics platform to analyse price changes since June 2016. Using price per square metre (PPSQM) to normalise costs, it looked at the most popular property type in each local authority in England and Wales, excluding the Isle of Scilly. Then it tracked the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in each local authority, and the total change in value across the whole period of June 2016 to June 2019. This was then cross referenced with official data on the referendum vote.

The top 10 performing local authorities:

Local Authority Brexit Result PPSQM 06/2016 PPSQM 06/2019 Growth CAGR Most popular property type  % leave % remain
Castle Point leave £3,003 £3,693 23.00% 7.10% Detached 72.70% 27.30%
Wellingborough leave £2,075 £2,526 21.70% 6.80% Detached 62.42% 37.58%
Thanet leave £2,042 £2,483 21.60% 6.70% Terraced 63.85% 36.15%
Salford leave £1,348 £1,638 21.50% 6.70% Terraced 56.81% 43.19%
Thurrock leave £3,178 £3,819 20.20% 6.30% Detached 72.28% 27.72%
Newham remain £4,296 £5,138 19.60% 6.10% Flat 47.16% 52.84%
Manchester remain £1,675 £1,982 18.30% 5.80% Terraced 39.64% 60.36%
Rochford leave £3,065 £3,611 17.80% 5.60% Detached 66.61% 33.39%
Stevenage leave £3,477 £4,088 17.60% 5.60% Detached 59.25% 40.75%
Corby leave £1,920 £2,251 17.20% 5.40% Detached 64.25% 35.75%


The bottom 10 performing local authorities:

Local Authority Brexit Result PPSQM 06/2016 PPSQM 06/2019 Growth CAGR Most popular property type  % leave % remain
Kensington and Chelsea remain £12,812 £12,401 -3.20% -1.10% Flat 31.31% 68.69%
Ceredigion remain £1,724 £1,689 -2.10% -0.70% Terraced 45.37% 54.63%
Middlesbrough leave £1,133 £1,111 -1.90% -0.60% Terraced 65.48% 34.52%
Westminster remain £12,048 £12,057 0.10% 0.00% Flat 31.03% 68.97%
Eden leave £1,936 £1,949 0.70% 0.20% Terraced 53.32% 46.68%
Allerdale leave £1,334 £1,348 1.00% 0.30% Terraced 58.65% 41.35%
Preston leave £1,326 £1,340 1.10% 0.40% Terraced 53.31% 46.69%
Hartlepool leave £875 £888 1.60% 0.50% Terraced 69.57% 30.43%
Camden remain £9,729 £9,897 1.70% 0.60% Flat 25.06% 74.94%
Richmond upon Thames remain £6,793 £6,931 2.00% 0.70% Flat 30.71% 69.29%