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Mortgage brokers plan leave vote in EU referendum

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  • 20/06/2016
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A majority of mortgage advisers say they plan to vote to leave the European Union, just days before the EU referendum is due to take place.

The Mortgage Solutions poll of 480 respondents revealed that 55% of advisers expect the UK to leave the EU on 23 June, with 37% backing a vote to remain. Some 8% of advisers say they are still undecided on how they will vote at the ballot box.

Latest official polls show that the balance has tipped back in favour of the UK staying in the single market, but with 45% of the UK public opting for remain against 42% for leave; trends suggest a very close race. A further 13% of individuals polled are still unsure of how they will vote on Thursday.

Mortgage broker and owner of online estate agent CastleSmart.com Lak Sekhon, said he was still undecided on how he will vote, but said the prospect that a UK exit could lead to a drop in the value of sterling was weighing heavily on his decision.

“It’s really down to the speculation, as no one knows how mortgages and property prices will be affected by leaving EU,” he said.

“We only know what it’s like to be in the EU which makes it a safe bet. It’s the potential for positive effects in the event of leaving which puts me on the fence.”

The Remain campaign, led by David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne, has warned that a Brexit scenario could see homebuyers hit by rising mortgage costs, setting them back up to £1,500 on top of the cost of their home.

But Leave campaigners have been critical of such calculations, accusing the remain crusaders of scaremongering.

Sebastian Riemann, mortgage and protection consultant at Libra Financial Planning, explained that he had reached his decision based on his risk-taking attitude combined with ‘speculative’ arguments put forward by the Remain camp to date.

“The Remain campaign has been so negative and that’s been the main thing to push me toward a Brexit. The UK has got a quite track record of standing on its own two feet and I don’t believe European trade agreements will grind to a halt simply by leaving the EU.

“From a mortgage point of view, a big reason to leave is so that regulation is set by the UK as opposed to an EU approach. I appreciate this won’t be an overnight thing but it would be a big positive to have a bit more control of regulation in particular as the UK has a pretty strong track record in that area to date.”

Brokers supporting the In campaign have also been critical of efforts from both sides of the debate.

Dean Mason, practice principal at Masons Financial Planning, admitted that while he is in favour of remaining in the EU, he remains unconvinced on economic projections made by the government on the effect a Brexit would have on the mortgage and housing markets.

“Mark Carney said before the referendum was announced that the conditions for a rate rise were probably a year away, and has also hinted recently that he would not put even more instability into our markets in the event of a Brexit by quickly moving rates.

“Both political campaigns have been poorly run and although the EU is deeply flawed, the arguments for Brexit just don’t add up for me.”

Director at London Money Martin Stewart, agreed that while the single market was not a perfect model, staying in the union would provide a greater sense of certainty.

“Now that there’s positive sentiment in the mortgage market we need to maintain that, and by voting to leave the EU we’re voting for a whole lot of uncertainty,” he added.

“I think a lot of the reason for brokers opting for a leave vote is because Remain have run a totally useless campaign. Ultimately anyone can fill out an online poll but the proof will be in the pudding come Thursday.”

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