As Parliament prepares to vote on Theresa May’s Brexit proposal, we examine some of the potential effects of the crisis on the UK’s property market.
- American buyers are busy and may get busier
With the dollar high against the pound, Americans are still jumping into the London property market, especially around Kings Cross – where Google is building its new offices – and Battersea – where both Apple and the US Embassy are relocating. Wealthy Americans seeking to escape the dysfunctional Trump regime are also heading across the Atlantic, unperturbed by Brexit, which is a picnic by comparison.
- Chinese parents are buying properties for their kids
London’s universities are among the best in the world and Chinese students have arrived in their thousands. Many now live in apartments bought by their parents, a trend which has replaced buy-to-let and Russian customers.
- Pent-up demand will push up activity and prices later in the year
In the second half of 2018, activity in the UK property market was subdued: uncertainty over the future direction of Brexit, exacerbated by the government’s decision to delay the ‘meaningful’ vote (or not have one at all) caused both buyers and sellers to sit tight. This caution has persisted into 2019, but property professionals believe that pent-up demand will cause a flurry of activity once the picture becomes clearer.
- If uncertainty persists, future pipelines could diminish
Late last year, the number of properties in the UK fell for the fifth consecutive month, according to RICS, with a net balance of -32 per cent. This meant that Estate Agents were running low on stock and deals took longer to complete. Without a clear new direction from government, developers may lack the confidence to invest.