Another year, another wonderfully successful London Real Estate Forum. Although this year had a distinct, almost palpable air of fear about it. All due to…well, you guessed it…BREXIT.
The venue, located in the middle of Berkeley Square was absolutely fantastic, with it’s open air spaces and tents. If there’s one thing I love, it’s outdoor spaces and talking to people! This was of course, from start to finish, accompanied by a steady flow of food and drink, helping to establish the desired comfortable ambience.
But for how long was this desired ambience to last? Especially when Brexit and it’s potentially devastating effects on the property sector were the words on everyone’s lips!
Of those I spoke to, at least five described the direct effects of Brexit on projects that had been postponed – in fact, one of our own clients at Silver & Co., on one particular project, have this morning had the exchange of contracts delayed until the day after the Brexit votes have been counted and verified!
Renegotiation and possible termination of contracts are very real threats that property people are facing.
London-centric property and investment is certainly impacted – if we’re out, there will be less people coming to London, so they’ll be less need for offices, shops, residential and the list goes on.
Regardless of whether the fear is or is not rational – it is almost tangible and was an inescapable topic throughout the two-day duration of the forum.
My view, and I believe it is shared with many, is that London is London. It is one of the biggest cities in the world and if we’re not part of the EU, we’ll likely continue to thrive to one degree or another; succeed due to the international nature of our capital city. The fear lies within the regional cities, the Bristols and Newcastles of Britain – the fear that they will be hit and feel the negative repercussions of a leave vote.
What are your thoughts?