We measured the relationship between UK House prices and voting results from the recent EU Referendum and found some interesting results.
Across England and Wales, the value of property had 46 percent explanatory power in determining the outcome of the Brexit vote. The more expensive the average property price in an area, the more likely the overall vote was to be ‘Remain.’ Conversely, the lower the property prices, the more likely the vote was to be ‘Leave.’
This relationship held up within London but with slightly lower explanatory power than the figures from the rest of the country combined. The relationship again held up for Scotland, which despite favouring ‘Remain’ on the whole exhibited a similar relationship with a lower explanatory power.
Interestingly voter turnout across many regions of the country was highly correlated with prices. Higher prices equated higher turnouts. The graphs of North England, Wales, and Scotland are shown below.
There has been much analysis of the generational and educational differences among voters. But what about their assumed wealth as measured by local area house prices? We found that those living in areas where prices were ‘above average’ were five times more likely to have their wealth, as measured by house prices, impact their voting decisions. Within the higher-than-average areas, every £4,249 increase or decrease in house prices correlated with a one percent change in the net vote outcome for that area.
However, areas with prices lower than the national average did not exhibit this relationship. Whilst there was some indication that lower prices related to a greater proportion of leave votes, the relationship was very weak. Nevertheless, the areas with lower-than-average house prices were 9.6 times more likely vote ‘Leave.’
In England and Wales the price point at which voter turnout changed was £282,000 with every £4,600 reduction in prices equating with a one percent increase in favour of ‘Vote Leave.’ Higher house prices strongly related to voting ‘Remain,’ and lower house prices strongly related to leaving the EU. In many areas, higher prices also related to higher voter turnout. The expectation of the two combined would be that high house price areas would be more likely to vote, and to vote to ‘Remain,’ which led to many to expect a ‘Remain’ outcome.
However, there are three times more people living in areas with prices below £282,000 than above. Even if the higher priced areas were more likely to vote, their significantly lower population could not swing the vote. Perhaps if house prices, and thereby wealth, were higher in many parts of the country, there would have been a greater number of ‘Remain’ votes.
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© Treex 2020