Our latest research has highlighted the varying price of property per a square meter across each of the current EU member states, ahead of Thursday’s EU Referendum.

The map shows the price of property per a square meter across each state, when they joined the EU and the property price per a square meter for each capital city.

The Capitals

Across each EU member state, the average house price is £2,867 per a square meter. Where individual capital cities are concerned, London runs away with the prize for most expensive property price. At £12,468 per a square meter, London’s reputation as the most expensive place in the world to buy a house is seemingly justified, the most expensive in the EU at least.

Paris is the second most expensive city in the EU for property, however at less than half that of London, it has some catching up to do to claim the top spot. Stockholm and Rome also rank highly, with both home to a property price over £5,000 per square meter.

Dublin is the 9th most expensive capital at £3,489 per a square meter. Although Belfast (£2,205), Cardiff (£1,583) and Edinburgh (£1,580) all lie within the member state of the United Kingdom, they rank as the 15th, 20th and 21st most expensive capital cities in the EU for property.

At just £734 per a square meter, Sofia the capital of Bulgaria has the cheapest property price across all capital cities of the EU member states.

The Member States

The average property price per a square meter across all existing EU member states is £1,967.

Although London is the engine at the heart of the UK’s property market and the most expensive city in the EU for property prices, the same can’t be said for the United Kingdom as a whole.

At £3,279 per a square meter, the United Kingdom is only the fourth most expensive EU member state where property is concerned. The top three consist of Luxemburg (£4,540), Sweden (£3,991) and France (£3,423) respectively.

In line with the capital, Bulgaria is also the cheapest EU member state for property overall, at just £634 per a square meter. This is also the case with Romania (£780) and Bucharest (£889) and Hungary (£829) and its capital city Budapest (£940) as the second and third cheapest member states for property.

Although there seems to be no strong correlation between the time a country has spent as an EU member state and the price of property, there are 15 member states that joined prior to the year 2000. Of these, 13 account for the highest property prices across the EU, with just Portugal and Greece along with those that joined post-millennium, home to a property price below £1,600 a square meter.

The UK property market and the influence a Brexit could potentially have has been a big talking point and arguably so, as for the average UK homeowner, their property is the most expensive asset they are likely to own.

This research isn’t an attempt to sway people either way, simply to show the strength of the UK market against the rest of the EU, but also to highlight that despite the London bubble, there are other areas across Europe where prices outperform that of the United Kingdom.

Will property prices drop if we vote to leave? No one really knows for sure and any potential impact will take a while to come to fruition. Should we vote to leave, any real impact wouldn’t become clear until 2017 and prices could potentially flatten and even go into reverse, which would be a mammoth event given the years of steady upward growth.

It all comes down to confidence in the market and whilst the media and campaigners from both sides continue to scare monger, the seesaw remains finely balanced. A few gloomy headlines and people will understandably sit tight and play it out. However, this lack of investment and activity in the residential market will prompt a fall in buyer demand and this is what will result in a drop in property prices.

This said, with the precarious mix of easily obtained credit and inflated property prices continuing to inflate the UK property bubble, something will eventually give, Brexit or no Brexit. I for one think that a cool in demand caused by uncertainty in the market, be it as a result of a leave or remain outcome, could be a healthy thing and help return the UK market back to some level of stability.

Russell Quirk

Founder & CEO, eMoov.co.uk

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