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07/08/2017

The Conservative- DUP collaboration – what's in it for property?

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Cast your mind back to April when Theresa May called a snap election that was intended to strengthen the Conservative government’s negotiating power with the EU in Brexit talks. A sure win was predicted.

The pound’s value jumped as signs of certainty emerged; Brits knew they were leaving the EU, but under what circumstances? Many hoped the election result would secure a plan of action and we’d finally know what Brexit actually meant.

Fast-forward to June and the opposite occurred – the Tories lost seats, Corbyn made headway, and the pound tanked. A minority government was formed between the Democratic Unionist and Conservative Party. Now the dust has settled, how will this affect the property industry?

"Workers in the capital are being pushed farther out, prompting the regeneration of towns in the commuter belt"

Uncertainty doesn’t help the pound, however, a weaker pound has encouraged foreign investors to pour money into UK property and construction. London continues to attract investment as the supply of office space fails to match growing demand. UK regions outside of London are seeing an influx of money, too, with better rental yields being offered and less competition from UK-based institutional investors. Workers in the capital are being pushed farther out, prompting the regeneration of towns in the commuter belt. Look North and you will see Middle Eastern investors acquiring retail centres in Liverpool and Dutch Pension Funds backing regeneration in Edinburgh. 

The Conservatives’ partnership with the DUP was thought to have thrown a spanner in the works, as before the election the Conservative Party had indicated support for large infrastructure projects such as High Speed 2 (HS2). However, its start was confirmed in the Queen’s Speech in June. HS2 prompts the government to invest in STEM schemes to help deliver the projects over the next two decades. With projects like HS2 and the expansion of Heathrow Airport, more development will follow. Again, this is backed heavily by investors looking to get into the regional markets before the projects begin.

The fate of non-UK skilled workers from the EU now employed by firms remains unclear. What is certain is the growing need for quality professionals. Investment institutions and the consultancies servicing them need surveyors to improve efficiency, valuers for acquisitions, planners for development works, and property managers to run these properties. Business is booming.

Faisal Malik is a recruitment consultant for the Oyster Partnership specialising in building surveying


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