The Great British Electorate has voted – just – to leave the EU, ushering in a new political and economic landscape – and goaded the Prime Minster into quitting.
Most of the forecasts point to this Brexit result being economically catastrophic, at least in the short term, but it also delivers an unprecedented opportunity for the UK to redefine its position in the world.
It became clear at about 2am that the Leave faction was having a very strong night, with Nigel Farage announcing a victorious “Independence Day” at 4am, and the BBC calling it for Brexit just before 5am. David Cameron finally emerged at around 8.30am to announce his resignation as Prime Minster; he will, he said, leave by October.
There is a very clear North-South divide in the Referendum results in England, with a marked trend for more affluent areas opting to stay in the European Union. Overall, however, it’s an incredibly tight result on a very decent 72% turnout: at time of writing, the vote stands at 52% to 48% in favour of Brexit.
Global markets reacted as you’d expect. Sterling’s value crashed immediately, in an unprecedented performance for a Western nation. By the time Dimbleby announced the BBC’s Leave forecast, the pound had reached its lowest level against the US dollar since 1985, following the biggest one-day currency drop in 30 years.
It’s clear that Britain will be paying a high price for its new sovereignty; whether it’s worth it in the long-run remains to be seen. That largely depends on how negotiations with the EU and many of the world’s other nations go over the next few years. And there’s a big question over who will be managing those negotiations…
David Cameron is staring down the barrel of a resignation speech [** UPDATE: He’s already made it **], and that’s likely to trigger a General Election, creating even more uncertainty for the UK economy. Which, as we know, does not bode well for the property market. Whatsmore, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon is already talking about a new Scottish Independence Referendum after Scotland’s voters came down hard on the Remain side, and other EU nations are already mooting their own Exit Referenda: Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders called for similar polls in France and the Netherlands within minutes of the UK result coming to light, and earlier in the week Rome elected an anti-globalisation mayor…
Here are some of the predictions about the housing market now we’re leaving the EU:
- Zoopla: House prices to drop by 20%
- HMRC: House prices to be 10-18% lower by 2018 compared to if we’d stayed in the EU
- Galliard Homes: Property construction costs to rise by up to 15%
- Referendumbed Down: What would a Brexit mean for the prime resi sector?
- BREXITWATCH: Four thoughts on the EU Referendum and its impact on the prime resi sector
- Treasury claims Brexit ‘shock’ would drive Britain into recession
- Brexit worries driving the downturn? Don’t make me laugh…
- EU Referen-doom: Is Osborne right on Brexit and Property?
- In or Out: Two post-Referendum scenarios for the prime London property sector