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PrimeResi is the journal of luxury property; the leading news, insight & opinion resource for the UK’s prime residential sector.

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The handbook of the luxury property industry

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PRQ7

Staytus Quo, or Brexit, pursued by a bear market

A last-minute surge in confidence amongst betting types that Britain will keep its head and vote Remain saw the odds of a Brexit drop to 24% at leading bookmakers...

A last-minute surge in confidence amongst betting types that Britain will keep its head and vote Remain saw the odds of a Brexit drop to 24% at leading bookmakers and sterling start a semi-dramatic rally on Tuesday, but the EU Referendum vote is still – according to most polls – anybody’s game.

The majority of the property industry is very keen to stay in the EU: a straw poll of PrimeResi contributors and pundits reveals that just two of 24 who have written on the subject for us back Brexit, echoing pretty much every other sector survey; 94% of RICS surveyors polled across the country – and 100% in London – believe the industry is better off in the Union; LonRes member agents gave some pretty stark predictions about the effects of Remain/Leave on the prime London market (see the second graph below); 65% of Carter Jonas’ clients want to Remain; Zoopla told The Mail on Sunday that it predicts a 20% drop in house prices in the event of Brexit, and a consortium of big-name architects including Richard Rogers, David Chipperfield and David Adjaye penned a letter to the Telegraph warning of some kind of creative catastrophe unless there’s a Remain vote.

But there is a significant, vocal, and occasionally persuasive enclave of the industry that backs an exit from Europe, including regular PrimeResi contributors Trevor Abrahmsohn and William Cash.

Some level-headed pundits – including heavyweight property investors and major consultancies – are of the view that property markets will trundle on regardless of the Referendum outcome. “The drivers of death, debt, and divorce will continue to drive [property] turnover” says Savills; top-end buying agent Ollie Marshall thinks that prime London markets would “shrug off” Brexit; CBRE’s Jennet Siebrits argues that “the ‘In’ or ‘Out’ decision is unlikely to have a lasting effect on London’s property market”, and London Central Portfolio’s Naomi Heaton believes that top-end buyers “will be attracted to [London property], whether or not the UK is a smaller power outside the European block.”

On a wider scale, however, there’s near universal consensus that a Brexit would damage the UK economy – with predictions from venerable economists (LSE, OECD, CBI, PwC, Oxford Economics, NIESR, The Treasury) ranging from catastrophic to quite bad.

PrimeResi pundit positions on the EU Referendum

(survey of 24 who have spoken out on the subject this year)

PrimeResi contributor positions on the EU Referendum

PrimeResi contributor & pundit poll: In – 18; Out – 2; Unsure/doesn’t matter – 4

  • LonRes agents’ predictions for the post-Referendum prime London market:

EU

Still need convincing? Here’s some more on what PrimeResi’s contributors are thinking about Europe:

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