JLL Residential

JLL Residential reacts to EU Referendum result

London, 24th June 2016

A Vote Leave result brings an unprecedented new dawn for Britain, with uncertainty over the likely impacts for the short term. This will bring both risks and opportunities.

On the downside, we expect an immediate slowdown in housing market transactions, while discretionary purchasers take stock and vendors delay on decisions to sell.

It is too early to assess the impact on house price growth  as a result of Brexit.  In terms of positives, there are still compelling reasons for companies to base their European operations in the UK. 

The significant advantages we enjoy, in terms of language, transparency, a robust legal framework, and access to talent will help protect the UK and London economy through this period of short-term uncertainty.

In addition, the mortgage market has 
benefited from the record low Bank of England base rate for the past seven years and record low rates are now set to continue. This support will be welcome for many movers and will aid liquidity in the housing market during the next couple of years. 

The London housing market has faced a series of policy and tax  challenges over the last 2 years which has already resulted in falling volumes. The interconnected trading relationship between London and the rest of Europe means the implications of Brexit are more complex. However, paradoxically, investors may well identify opportunities in this market over the short-term, particularly international purchasers who can benefit from the currency arbitrage that has opened up by a weaker pound sterling, and this could give the market a welcome boost once there is more clarity around the economic outlook.

While the focus leading up to the Referendum was on the UK's international trading relationships, we are concerned that domestic politics will now be the primary risk to the housing market. Regardless of the Referendum outcome, addressing the imbalance in the supply of housing in the UK must be a critical priority and concerted attention from politicians to deliver credible, lasting solutions to the supply conundrum is desperately needed. Protracted infighting within the UK’s political parties will only harm the UK economy and, with this, any chance of a timely recovery from the expected economic slowdown.

The Referendum has been an unwelcome diversion from vital domestic policy challenges. An expansion of housing supply, particularly for renters, first-time buyers and retirees, needs sustained policy support, alongside a clearer commitment to the delivery of affordable housing.

There is no shortage of critical housing market issues for the Government to turn its attention to; focus on solutions is needed now more than ever.

A Vote Leave result brings an unprecedented new dawn for Britain, with uncertainty over the likely impacts for the short term. This will bring both risks and opportunities.
jll

andrew Frost