Shockwaves in property market
Delegates, speakers and panellists attending the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors’ (SIOR) International European Conference in London arrived in shock today as 52 per cent of the British electorate voted for the UK to withdraw from the European Union.
At this morning’s Investor Panel Discussion and Q&A, moderator Richard Divall, head of Cross Border Capital Markets at Colliers International, said the decision is an “economic disaster for the UK.”
Philip La Pierre, head of Investment Management Europe, Union Investment Real Estate, added: “We didn’t expect this, but now that it has happened we should not make rash reactions to ongoing London deals.”
La Pierre said: “Opportunistic capital might swoop in, but overall the UK will certainly face investment stagnation.” He also warned that investors will begin to move to the U.S and Asia.
Fellow panellist Alistair Dixon, Chairman, Azimuth Global Partners, agreed that “more money will flow into the U.S given the current Eurozone uncertainty.”
Jonathan Baines, consultant at Farebrother, was more optimistic, however: “Things will calm down quicker than we expect,” The UK may even be more attractive to U.S investors, he said, as they realise that they can buy more property for their dollar.
Outside the panel, delegates attending – many American and from across Europe – agreed that the decision could be beneficial for those looking to invest in the UK given the free fall of the pound.
Panel discussions and debates across the conference have been dominated by the EU debate. Yesterday, delegates were asked to vote on whether the UK should vote to leave or remain in the EU – 84 per cent voted in favour of remain.