Agenda For Change

16 March 2016

The next few weeks and months will be very dynamic for the UK property market. Hamish Pound, Senior Investment Manager, guides you through the key dates and decisions being made.

UK Budget on 16 March 

In the lead up to the EU Referendum, the chancellor is expected to deliver a budget for stability, with a number of austerity measures likely to be announced. There are usually a few surprises however, which we will outline in a new Market Update on 17 March. To receive this, and other updates, please register your interest with info@ipglobal-ltd.com.

London Mayoral election on 5 May 

As the current Mayor of London Boris Johnson prepares to step down following his second term in office, the election campaigns for his replacement are now in full swing. As ever, London’s housing crisis remains a core theme of the main frontrunners’ campaigns, with both Labour’s Sadiq Khan and Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith already pledging to deliver at least 50,000 new homes a year, boost the number of affordable homes, and free up public land for development. As with all activity in this key market, we will be closely following these campaigns and will keep you all updated.

The UK’s EU Referendum on 23 June 

This 23 June will see the British public vote in a national referendum to decide whether the UK should stay or exit the European Union (EU), an outcome colloquially termed ‘Brexit’. We have prepared and published a Market Update outlining the current situation regarding Brexit, which you can access here.

We will be closely monitoring the Brexit debate over the coming weeks and months and will keep you updated on developments as they emerge. Please get in touch with any queries in the meantime.

BREXIT - IP GLOBAL’S VIEW

  • A ‘Brexit’ is unlikely. The majority of early polls are signalling that the public will vote to remain in the EU – the choice championed by UK Prime Minister David Cameron. That said, there is high profile support for a withdrawal, with London Mayor Boris Johnson joining this camp last month – a move which resulted in the Pound hitting a seven-year low against the US Dollar.
  • UK property remains a safe haven asset. While we are cognisant of the risks of the UK leaving the EU, wider global factors remain more significant drivers of financial market performance – China rebalancing, interest rate cycles and commodity prices for example. Our recent Market Update outlines how property investment opportunities in the UK are shifting geographically towards outer London and regional cities, a trend we expect to see continue.
  • FX volatility and low interest rates create a temporary opportunity. The British Pound is expected to decline further between now and the referendum in June. This short term volatility in fact creates an opportunity for those with USD-pegged currencies to benefit from greater buying power. As an example, those purchasing a GBP350,000 UK property with US Dollars on 1 March 2016 would save around USD40,550 compared to the same property purchase at the beginning of October 2015. This represents a saving of 8%. Also beneficial is that the Bank of England is unlikely to raise interest rates from their currently historic low levels in the short-term, keeping the cost of borrowing down.
Hamish Pound

Written by Hamish Pound

Hamish is Head of Investment at IP Global and specialises in both developed and developing real estate markets following positions in the UK, New York and Thailand. As a consultant and analyst in his previous roles he has consulted on a number of new development projects across Southeast Asia.

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