The Brexit vote has left the UK divided, shattering the unity of the European Union. While global markets took a hit, the London property market is seeing domestic investors staying away, forcing property owners to cut prices. On the other hand, foreign investors are determined to take advantage of the weakening pound and flocking to invest here. We list the top 5 ways Brexit has impacted London’s property markets.
1) Property Prices Are Down
London is a global metropolis and an international property hotspot that attracts investors from the UK and across the world. So far, property here has been seen as a great bet. But the Brexit has spooked property markets and potential home buyers. If you have invested here and were expecting an appreciation in prices, think again. Property owners are actually cutting prices by 10% to 18% in order to attract buyers.
2) Domestic Investors Are Staying Away
The Brexit has hit the UK’s domestic economy quite badly with the country having lost its AAA-credit rating and the Pound having fallen to its lowest level since 1985. Even the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that the country’s GDP could be cut by 1.5% to 4.9% by 2019 if it leaves the EU. All of this has caused domestic investors to rethink investing in London’s property markets until these troubles are sorted out.
3) The Uncertainty Will Continue
To make matters worse, there are ongoing demonstrations calling for a second referendum and many believe that the new government may not choose to exit the EU. But that will take at least a year or two to play out and until then; uncertainty about the London property market is bound to continue. On the plus side, the Bank of England has stated that it will take steps to stabilise the economy, so that has given hope to many about London’s long-term potential.
4) Foreign Investors To Benefit?
The Brexit has emerged as a very attractive opportunity for foreign investors including Indians, who are scrambling to take advantage of the fall in property prices and the weak Pound. Property consultants in India are reporting a 20% to 25% rise in enquiries about investing in the UK. That is all the more believable thanks to the fact that the UK is a strong market, with over 60-million wealthy consumers. What’s more, London is a global financial capital and smart investors are betting on its long-term stability.
5) Indian Builders Set To Move In
Developers with projects in London are using the crisis to promote their properties. For instance, the Lodha Group is running full page ads for its Lincoln Square property in Central London, inviting buyers to take advantage of the Pound’s weakness. Similar schemes are expected from other Indian developers like Indiabulls Real Estate who have projects in London. Even the Sobha Group – which recently launched a Europe-centric vertical called Sobha Europe – is expected to pick up property at relatively cheap rates here.
If you too plan on flocking to London, best pay attention. While Central London and areas in the country are good long-term bets, real-estate experts are advising caution when dealing with London’s secondary and tertiary markets.
“I am very concerned for people who have brought off-plan developments in the secondary and tertiary markets. Nine Elms is a very good example, where there are a vast number of flats under development, many in excess of a million pounds, for which there simply aren’t the end-users and a significant majority of these have been bought by overseas investors.” – Edward Heaton, Founder, Heaton and Partners
Nikhil Narayan Sivadas, Assistant Editor, NDTV