Since the EU Referendum the second most over used word has been uncertainty. My dictionary definition of this is ‘not known or not to be depended on’. Many commentators would appear to have reinterpreted the term uncertainty to mean disaster, recession and property crash. Much of this comment has come from, and perhaps in some ways understandably from, a London centric view. However, this article is aimed at the 86.5% of the UK’s population that does not live in London.
The immediate reaction to the EU vote was threefold. Firstly, the devaluation of sterling, secondly the fall in the housebuilders quoted stocks by 25% and thirdly a cautionary downward revaluation of Reits by 5%. The latter two were both precautionary and not because of problems that occurred. Since then, as at the time of writing, the FTSE 100 is just shy of 6700 Points, a new Prime Minister is in place and we are not expected to receive an emergency budget.
Here at Brown & Co we have the advantage from our 11 UK offices working at the ‘coal face’ of the commercial, residential and agricultural sectors to see first-hand any movement on the markets. These offices cover the counties of Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire. We are monitoring the markets on a daily basis and I can report as follows.
The residential market is the barometer for all property sectors, and is the most talked about publicly and the asset class which affects most people. Our Residential Division have a very strong pipeline, stronger than they have seen for a number of years, and they are reporting situation normal. Agreed sales are continuing and viewing numbers have not decreased. The Commercial Division is reporting a very similar sentiment. In the vast majority of cases people are getting on with their lives are continuing to make business decisions that they need to make irrespective of the outcome of the EU Referendum and, I believe, that as every day passes they are seeing it is a matter for the Politicians and not for the everyday business lives of our customers and clients.
This is not to say that there has been no change at all because there has. However, the limited change is one that has come out of caution putting in a watching brief, which I believe will shortly turn into situation normal. A number of the large PLC house builders and some of the commercial builders who are looking to build speculative commercial units are watching for stability in the market before they commit. However, we are getting reports, particularly from the house builders, that their house sales have not been affected which is mirrored by our own Estate Agency.
Whilst the Politician on both sides of the argument warned us of doom and disaster if we voted the wrong way, from their point of view, it would appear that the majority of the business community whether they agreed or disagreed with the vote continue to get on with their lives.