Trend Spotter

The Perfect Storm

There have been several major government policies that have directly impacted the UK property market in the past few years, from mansion tax and stamp duty rises to the most recent EU referendum. All of the different outcomes have had, and will have, direct consequences on society, and whether these are positive or negative depends entirely upon individual circumstances.

The current debate is centred on what effect an EU exit will have on UK property prices. In London, there is a further question as to whether a vote to remain could lead to a resultant ‘bounce’ in what has been a rather subdued market.

It is far easier to analyse the potential effects by taking a more microscopic look. With this in mind, it is obvious to most that a break from Europe would have far greater ramifications for London than the rest of the country (vis-à-vis property prices). This is largely down to the fact that London has large numbers of European nationals living here, and this alone could have a considerable impact on their futures.

We must not forget that the majority of EU residents are here for jobs and this resource has undoubtedly enabled London to maintain its hegemony in the financial world. The investment decisions of major banks and financial institutions will determine whether the capital is able to keep its position in the future.

The financial sector does not like uncertainty and so, in my view, the potential fractures that would result from a split with Europe are a major threat to London and its economy.  This does not put me in either the ‘Leave’ or ‘Remain’ camp. I simply urge both sides to work hard in painting a picture of  their vision of the future and how it could work. The debate must not centre around reasons to leave or stay, but there must be compelling arguments made and illustrated to show how the future will look depending on whether we are ‘in’ or ‘out’.

The decision that will be made by the UK electorate on June 23 will profoundly influence and shape all of our lives. For property, the various potential consequences are equally monumental – and I do not think that anyone is yet able to predict what will happen if either side win.  And bounce will depend on the wicket – and as all cricketers know: a wicket can be highly unpredictable.