BREXIT will have a big impact on the West Fife property market but it won’t be as “dramatic” as the 2008 crash and there are reasons for optimism.

That’s according to Dunfermline estate agents Maloco + Associates who talked up the resilience of the local housing market ahead of our imminent departure from the EU on March 29.

Senior partner Michael Maloco said: “We’ve said before and we’ll say it again – be it Mrs May’s deal, a good deal, a bad deal or no deal, Brexit is a big deal. To pretend the property market won’t be impacted to some degree would be misleading and unprofessional.

“Despite a potential modest fall in prices here in Dunfermline, we don’t expect the Brexit effect to be overly pronounced and we don’t see it being anywhere near as dramatic as the 2008 crash.”

In Dunfermline and West Fife, there has been a drop of almost 20 per cent in the number of new properties coming to the market.

While dwindling stock means that supply and demand are generally in sync, price rises have slowed quite noticeably and there’s an air of caution.

Senior valuer Keiran Newman said: “Property prices in the Dunfermline area have recovered steadily and in a sustainable manner since 2008. There has been no over-heating of the market as in, say, Edinburgh.

“Average house prices in the Dunfermline area when expressed as a multiple of average salaries are at the lower end of the national scale, meaning our homes represent excellent value for money.

“Employment rates in West Fife and the UK as a whole are good. Locally we don’t expect multiple large scale redundancies although do acknowledge the sad loss of some jobs announced recently at Babcock.

“Mortgages should remain within the grasp of most buyers and we anticipate will remain affordable as the Bank of England seems determined to keep rates low to encourage investment and to ease any strain on households as a result of Brexit.”

Mr Maloco says he is cautiously optimistic and is looking for the silver lining in the gloomy Brexit clouds.

He added: “Remember, a slight reduction in prices will improve affordability and help first time buyers to get into the market. Meanwhile, for those selling and moving up the property ladder, even a modest fall in the value of their current home will be more than offset by the fall in the more expensive property they move to.

“Any funding gap will shrink to meaning a smaller deposit is required to make the next move.”