Politicians can’t stop property rock and rolling along

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Politicians can't stop property rock and rolling along

July 2017

Duncan Bedhall

The snap General Election was a disaster. Far from providing the promised ‘strong and stable’ circumstances for a great Brexit deal, we are left with political turmoil.

And we all know turmoil is bad for business.  As indeed, I believe, would be the remote prospect of a Labour government, with Jeremy Corbyn still saying ‘we are ready to serve’.

OK, he did pull tens of thousands incredibly as he gave his ‘build bridges, not walls’ speech on the main Pyramid stage at Glastonbury – and he seems to be warming to his new rock star status among the young and disaffected. But with the festival, holiday and hospitality seasons upon us – and a sustained hot spell to boot – I still see plenty of reasons to be cheerful, as Ian Dury and the Blockheads once said!

Firstly, the lack of an overall Conservative majority means Theresa May has to build a consensus – or she will fail.

We have seen this already with the concessions to the DUP to secure a confidence and supply agreement, then last minute policy changes on NHS-funded abortions for Northern Irish women ahead of the vote on the Queen’s Speech in order to avoid a backbench defeat.

It’s not commercial property or even business, but it points to an outbreak of common sense which may also prevail in the Brexit negotiations.  We can but hope!

Secondly, it seems clear to me that Germany and France want a deal with the UK, whatever the politicians say. I spent time in Germany recently and there I sensed a deep sadness that we are leaving: mainly for the loss of a politically stable democracy, but also a defender of liberal values and strong trading partner.

Thirdly, the weak pound since we voted in the referendum to leave Europe has made UK products and services more competitive so our manufacturing exports are on the rise.

Fourthly, investment demand is very strong, with the fact that foreign currency is worth more in sterling only serving to increase that pressure further.

So, on the ground, in commercial property, we are still taking lots of calls, receiving loads more internet and email enquiries and seeing deals trundling along nicely.

Activity is further aided by the lack of supply, especially of industrial units, voids are not rising significantly and the fact that interest rates are set to remain low.  All of which keeps property people happy.

So, I pronounce commercial property prospects as pretty damn fine, on the whole – and I would even say excellent, but for the games politicians play.

Much like Glastonbury, it could be said.  After all, Jezzer really should leave Glasto to the likes of the Foo Fighters!  They’re altogether more entertaining.

You can contact Duncan Bedhall on 01215 617888 or email here

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