The U.K.'s vote to leave the European Union (EU) will have less impact on the country's residential property market than the hike to second-house taxation introduced in April, a senior executive at a financial services firm specializing in real estate said on Tuesday.
Ahead of the Brexit vote in June, the U.K. government increased the tax levied on purchases of non-secondary residences by 3 percent, to raise £60 million ($79 million) for affordable housing construction and community spending.
"We strongly believe the more significant effect (than the Brexit vote for the U.K. residential market) is the change to stamp duty (tax levy on house purchases)," Nick Whitten, associate director at Jones Lang LaSalle, said at a debate hosted with the Royal Institute of British Architects in London on Tuesday.
The stamp duty change is seen as a potential deterrent for holiday-home buyers or buy-to-let investors. The tax levied increases with the size of property purchase, with the top rate set at 15 percent for homes worth over £1.5 million.
There was a surge of real estate activity in March, as home buyers rushed to close details before the hike. Borrowing by home-buyers already in possession of a residence leaped 60 percent year-on-year, according to the U.K.'s Council of Mortgage Lenders. These purchasers took out a total of 69,800 loans, amounting to £13.8 billion.