Tuesday, 9 August 2016

92.1% of Royal Tunbridge Wells Homeowners are over 35 - The affect of their Brexit vote on the Royal Tunbridge Wells Property Market

Well it’s been over 7 weeks since the Referendum vote and we have had a chance to reflect on the momentous decision that the British public took. 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.

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 Royal Tunbridge Wells Property Market.

In case you weren’t aware, the residents of the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Council area went with the National mood and voted as follows ..

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council     Remain Votes 35,676             (54.9% of the vote)
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council     Leave Votes    29,320             (45.1% of the vote)
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Turnout    79.1%

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 a Royal Tunbridge Wells resident is 39.6 years old, which is above the national average of 39.3, which might go someway to back up the way Royal Tunbridge Wells 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 Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Council area, of the 31,374 properties that are owned in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council 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       2,474    or        7.8%  (Nationally 9.6%)
Age 35 to 49 homeowners       9,579    or      30.5%  (Nationally 29.2%)
Age 50 to 64 homeowners       9,814    or      31.3%  (Nationally 30.7%)
Aged 65+ homeowners            9,507    or      30.3%  (Nationally 30.5%)

So, looking at these figures, and the high proportion of older homeowners, you might think all the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council 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!

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