Conservative election win hailed as positive result for property industry
From certain hung parliament to Conservative majority, it’s been a strange week for British politics. What was described all round as the most uncertain election in years, ended up being a fairly straight forward affair.
The impact on the commercial property market was difficult to judge beforehand, but things have gone so smoothly over the last week that it seems it may be a case of as you were for the immediate future. After all, a week ago it seemed ludicrous to think David Cameron and the Conservatives might win an overall majority.
The thought of an Ed Milliband led and SNP supported government may have had the generally right-of-centre leaning property industry sweating, but those fears were quickly dispelled as the results came in on election night.
James Roberts, Chief Economist at Knight Frank, said: “There is good reason to suppose the UK economy can resume a strengthening recovery. This will be good news for both the commercial leasing and investment markets,” while Miles Gibson, Head of UK research at CBRE, said: “Strong employment, low inflation, low interest rates and high levels of inward investment all bode well for the property sector.”
The general feeling seems to be that a Conservative majority is a good result for the property industry and this was certainly reflected at last Friday’s West London Business lunch, which took place the day after the General Election.
Melanie Leech of the British Property Federation was the guest speaker at the event and stated that the BPF had successfully worked with the coalition and expected to do the same with just the Tories.
However, if there was one Conservative policy that has been dampening the mood of property professionals, it’s the upcoming referendum on Europe.
Commenting on the possibility, Mat Oakley, Head of European Commercial Research at Savills, said: “An EU referendum, if it were to lead to the UK leaving the EU, would have a damaging effect on London’s attractiveness to US and Asian businesses looking for a European HQ.”
The EU referendum isn’t the only concern however, with some believing there could be uncertainty north of the border, following the SNP’s landslide victory in Scotland.
Prior to the election, we reported that momentum had remaining strong in the build up the election and it is believed that the momentum will continue, so long as the economic recovery remains on track.
For the time being it seems the commercial property industry can breathe a collective sigh of relief, although the threat of the ever closer EU referendum looms in the not too distant future.
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