Three million Brits put off buying a new home because of Brexit

01 October 2019  
5 min read
  • The housing market has taken a hit with 3.2 million British adults saying they have put off deciding to buy a home because of Brexit
  • One in five Brits (19%) – about 10 million people – have put off making a big financial decision because of uncertainty around Brexit
  • Holiday plans are also on ice: 3.6 million have delayed booking a holiday
  • There are now six pessimists for every optimist in Great Britain when it comes to the impact of Brexit on the nation’s personal finances. 36 per cent of the population expect their finances to get worse (up from 32% nine months ago) and only 6 per cent expect an improvement (down from 8 per cent nine months ago)

With 30 days until the October 31 Brexit deadline, the number of Brits saying they have put off a big financial decision has risen to one in five (19 per cent) – equal to ten million people.

The major outgoings currently on ice for one in five people include booking a holiday (38 per cent of those who have put off making a big financial decision), buying a new home (34 per cent) and buying a new car (23 per cent), the latest quarterly ‘Brexit and personal finances’ survey by YouGov on behalf of Royal London, the mutual insurer, has found.

Overall, 36 per cent of Brits – around 18 million people (as calculated by Royal London using ONS figures) - think their personal finances will get worse once the UK leaves the EU at the end of this month, up from 32 per cent in November 2018.

As a result, more are choosing to try and do something about it, with the proportion of people saying they have made changes to their personal finances ahead of Brexit rising from 8 per cent six months’ ago to 11 per cent now. A reduction in spending, an increase in savings and a decision not to go on holiday this year are the most likely courses of action taken by those making preparations.

A rise in the cost of food, a fall in the value of the Pound and a rise in the cost of energy are the chief concerns among those who think their personal finances are set to worsen after the UK departs.

Royal London is urging people to get their finances “Brexit ready” in the next four weeks, with its six-point action plan.

Becky O’Connor, personal finance specialist for Royal London, said:

“Millions of people are rejecting the old adage of ‘keeping calm and carrying on’ and instead opting for caution and waiting for the outcome before moving on with their lives.

“With so much hanging in the balance, it is hard to blame those who choose not to commit a large amount of money to a new purchase. The research shows the lives of the Great British public are literally on hold, with new homes, cars and holidays all delayed. Some may perhaps be expecting a buying opportunity for their next house purchase in the coming months.

“As the Government and business ‘Get Brexit Ready’, Royal London is urging people to do the same with their finances, as far as possible.”

Notes to Editors

·Spokesperson available, ISDN line available for radio interviews. Please contact for details.

·Infographic available.

·The full quarterly ‘Brexit Barometer’ report on the YouGov/ Royal London ‘Brexit and personal finances’ survey can be found here from Monday September 30

·All percentages, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Royal London has calculated the population figures based on these percentages and the ONS’s total population figure.

·Total sample size was 1,867 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 29 and 30 August 2019.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

·There are approximately 50 million GB adults aged 18+ (


·         Royal London has published a six-point “Get your finances Brexit ready” plan, which can be found here

 [JC1]We need to make it clear that you have extrapolated the population breakdown figures based on the ONS total population and our percentages.

‘All percentages, unless otherwise stated….. Royal London has calculated the population figures based on these percentages and the ONS’s total population figure.’

About Royal London:

Royal London is the largest mutual life insurance, pensions and investment company in the UK, with assets under management of £139 billion, 8.6 million policies in force and 4,348 employees. Figures quoted are as at 30 June 2020.

For further information please contact:

Lucy Field, Press Officer