While the debate about the pros and cons of Brexit continues, at least one estate agent in the north-west of England is reporting increased sales (especially from overseas buyers). Family estate agent Eden, which is based in Penrith, has added an interesting subject to the Brexit conversation with suggestions that the fall in the pound is improving sales of UK holiday homes. The fact that the north-west of England covers the Lake District and other areas of outstanding natural beauty certainly puts local estate agents in a good position to comment on the market.
Not all doom and gloom
If you take a step back and look at the situation from a distance, it does make sense to assume that some investors have been encouraged by the weaker pound. They were maybe looking at properties which were a little too expensive in sterling terms before last year’s Brexit vote but the situation has totally change.
It is not difficult to see why areas such as the Lake District, and other regions of outstanding natural beauty, are attracting the attention of property investors. For overseas investors looking to expand their portfolios there are many opportunities to rent out these properties often at significant prices during peak holiday times. Obviously they would need to take into account less popular times of the year, such as the winter, but even then it is unlikely they would have no customers for a prolonged period of time.
Looking at the positives of Brexit
The fall in the pound has obviously caught the attention of financial markets but it has also caught the attention of overseas investors. London, while still a long-term attraction for property investors, is taking something of a breather while we await the emerging shape of the new financial sector. As a consequence, this has given estate agents in other areas of the UK the opportunity to focus on the weaker pound and prospects for the future, especially with regards to overseas investors.
It is easy to forget that the UK is still one of the largest economies in the world and even under the shadow of Brexit it is still outperforming the vast majority of European economies. True, there will be issues to address in the short to medium term regarding trade arrangements, divorce bills, etc but to suggest that the UK economy will collapse after the Brexit negotiations is scaremongering to the extreme. As we have touched on time and time again, European countries need the UK for trade purposes as much (if not more) as the UK needs them. Why would the European Union cut off its nose to spite its face?
Many in the press will either be extremely positive about Brexit or extremely negative. At this moment in time there seems to be no in between which is giving investors, both domestic and overseas, confusing feedback. The reality is there are pros and cons to Brexit, trade negotiations will not be straightforward but ultimately the UK will remain one of the largest economies in the world. This is a country with a population in excess of 60 million people with trade tentacles right across the globe.
Quite why critics are suggesting the European Union does not need a trade deal with the UK is a mystery?