On June 23rd, Britain will decide in a referendum whether to remain or leave the European Union. The move towards “Brexit”— Britain departing from the European Union— gathered steam following Europe’s migration crisis and the interminable euro mess. Asian Property Review talks to two experts on its impact on the London property market.
Hugh Wade-Jones, Managing Director at Enness Private Clients, an independently owned, large mortgage brokerage in Central London:
“A referendum on Britain’s EU membership may seem far removed from the London property market but, according to Halifax, confidence in the UK housing market is at its lowest in over a year. Similar drops were seen before the 2015 general election, with the looming spectre of mansion tax, and before the vote on Scottish independence in 2014. If the mere fact we are holding a referendum can have such an impact, what would happen in the event of a Brexit deserves serious consideration. It is difficult to talk about what would happen if we were to leave – after all, EU membership wasn’t designed to be something you could cancel, and we are in unchartered waters. At this stage, only one thing is certain; an exit would usher in a period of deep uncertainty, and uncertainty is poison to the housing market.
“In the longer term, solid arguments can be made on each side. In the ‘remain’ camp are those who say an EU exit would dry up investment in London property and cause prices to plummet. Among them is Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, who fears weaker levels of investment damaging the economy. At the moment, London is the city of choice for wealthy overseas investors. A Brexit would be felt the most keenly