What a year for the political landscape in the UK and now the world. First we have the vote to leave the EU and now America votes for Donald Trump. Who would have guessed it!!
As I have stated previously I was firmly a remainer and I will admit most of this was born out of fear of the unknown. It seems that the leavers were right and that the country and economy wouldn’t go to rack and ruin. Far from it as it now seems that we will prosper over the coming months and years and the recession that was predicted by so many never arrived.
With the victory for trump it now seems that the vote to leave Europe was the best thing. Many won’t want to agree with this statement but I strongly believe that Britain and the property industry will now be in a far stronger position outside of Europe than in Europe.
Firstly, Trump is an anti-establishment appointment he will show little regard for what has gone before and the “done thing old boy”. If he doesn’t think it will benefit America directly it is unlikely that Trump will agree to it. Trump clearly dislikes the political elite and the European union is very much a playground for career politicians to earn vast sums and achieve little real work. Trump wont dance to their tune and I suspect this will put the UK in a better position to negotiate stronger economic ties and trade deals. Many will remember Barack Obama warning the UK that it would be at the back of the queue for trade negotiations, do you think Trump would be saying or doing such things?
Also, Trump is a businessman not career politician so he will start making decisions that the average man can relate to and not a decision that serves to serve his political ambitions. As Nigel Farage did previously, Trump said and did many things that career politicians wouldn’t dream of doing or saying. Speaking your mind and saying the truth were previously seen as damaging to your reputation, the reverse has shown to be True! I hope we will now see some business acumen and sense being added to political decisions.
In periods of uncertainty there is a flight to safe havens for capital and the UK property industry will be seen as a steady and stable place to invest money. The returns have remained good over the past 6 months and the development pipeline and demand for new housing, offices or retail space has not dipped at all. The UK will also be viewed as a country with strong ties to Trump and America and it has the ability to negotiate independently of a trading block.
I envisage a period of greater inward investment now and the fears that the financial power of City waning will disappear. Frankfurt, Paris and Madrid will now be in weaker position than London to attract IPO’s and M&A deals.
I appreciate this is a very simple view and only time will tell what type of president Donald Trump will be. However, I very much doubt we will see the aggressive, snarling man we saw on the campaign trail. Trump is a deal maker and I suspect this was him at his competitive best, love or hate him you have to admire the sheer determination to succeed.
If on January 1st 2016 I had been told we would be leaving the EU and that Trump would be the next president I would have broken out in cold sweats. However, the future doesn’t look as scary as we were told if we didn’t do as expected.
It’s an unknown but I believe a hell of a lot of opportunity for the UK and specifically for the property industry lays ahead. I am super excited about 2017 and can’t wait to see how it unfolds.