While many have mocked Theresa May since she took over from David Cameron after the shock Brexit vote she was centre stage today. Donald Trump made the UK Prime Minister his first overseas visitor to the White House since he took office. This comes at a time when the UK property market is facing some challenges, not least the future of the UK economy and its structure post Brexit. So, could Donald Trump be the saviour of the UK property market?
The special relationship
While some of the press conference between the two leaders was “cringe worthy” the fact remains that the UK is still seen by many in the US as a special partner. Indeed, while many around the world continue to criticise and target abuse towards Donald Trump, he has taken up an invitation to visit the UK later this year and meet the Queen. At a time when the UK economy is performing far better than many had expected, talk of a trade deal between the UK and the US can only benefit the UK property sector.
Brexit, confusion and more confusion
It seems a little bizarre that the president of the USA is praising the UK for the decision to leave the European Union and “go it alone”. Yet, in the full knowledge that investment market hang on their every word, some politicians appear determined to thwart the will of the UK public and undermine the Brexit procedure. While Jeremy Corbyn has not always seen eye to eye with Conservative Prime Ministers he did earlier this week issue a party line on article 50. In simple terms, he will instruct his MPs to vote in favour of the forthcoming act of Parliament which will allow the government to trigger article 50.
Unfortunately, it would appear that some of his MPs have not yet received the memo and are publicly talking about undermining the party line and voting against the majority of the UK public.
Knock-on effect to property market
As we have mentioned on numerous occasions, the SNP is seemingly obsessed with Scottish independence and using Brexit as a useful tool to cause more problems between Scotland, the UK government and the rest of the UK population. This has already had an impact on Scottish property prices, although there have been signs of recovery just lately, but talk of yet another independence referendum is not helpful.
If you were an investor, whether in property or business, would you be looking to invest in a country which may or may not be independent in the next five years? Would you hold your fire and see how things develop before committing potentially millions of pounds to Scotland?
Holding up so far
Politicians can wax lyrical about the pros and cons of Brexit, whether indeed the UK public were hoodwink at the vote but the fact remains that any uncertainty is not helpful for investment markets. Against this backdrop, the UK economy and the UK property market have performed admirably but at some point we will reach the crunch and a final decision will have to be made. Will politicians stand in the way of the general public? Will concern about the short to medium term future further impact demand for property? How will the currency stand up to all of this confusion and uncertainty?
At this moment in time there are no simple answers but we do know that the UK property market has held up particularly well.