30th January 2019

Brexit – look beyond the headlines

View of Caliber building

After watching the news this evening, it seems that everything related to Brexit is negative.

The pessimism is also widespread across industry, with the Independent reporting that almost three quarters of firms are expecting to be damaged by Brexit.

I personally find the media always focuses on the negative aspects of any political development. There is plenty of good Brexit news, they just choose to ignore it and instead focus on the “unknown” Brexit – it’s a disaster.

After numerous discussions at industry events or in the pub after work, I have come to the conclusion that the consensus amongst property professionals, and in fact the wider masses, is that we are all just carrying on as normal without any major concern.

The most negative remark I’ve heard was: “We may have a short-term dip based on the unknown and its effect on consumer confidence, but this poses no long-term threat.”

In my opinion, the new homes sector will probably experience a minor dip in activity, as purchasers are likely to hold back in the hope that house prices will fall. Albeit no one actually knows.

Potential purchasers of new homes and residential properties should not be put off by fears of a house price crash and should consider the potential risks. If you buy a property now, even if it did drop in value in the short-term, the market historically corrects itself by the time the majority want to move.

I am no expert on economics, but I’ve worked in this industry for over 25 years through the highs and lows. I believe that, with sterling on the rise against the Euro over the last month, rising or stable house prices, low interest rates and lenders still lending, there is no reason for the country to currently worry.

As an owner of a company that sells land to small developers through to the top ten UK PLC housebuilders, I have not witnessed any reduction in the appetite for the purchase of land for new homes.

During November and December 2018, we agreed purchases on sites providing over 365 new homes in the East and West Midlands. Additionally, our other group business Finance4Business, received £161m in new enquiries between November and the end of January 2019.

These figures continue to show month-by-month increases whilst our politicians argue amongst themselves on Brexit.

I guess we should all take a responsibility to paint a more positive picture of post-Brexit. Maybe the press may alter their ‘Despite Brexit’ editorial technique, if there were more positive reports and posts from property professionals, housebuilders, lenders and small businesses across the UK.

It’s time to reject the fear-of-change attitude that drives the negative Brexit news machine.

Blog by Leon Evans, Managing Director

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