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March 28, 2015

Election fever is beginning to grip the UK, with less than 50 days to go until the polling stations open for what looks set to be one of the most closely fought election battles in the nation’s history.

Whatever the outcome, Britain’s economy is ‘buoyant’ says JLL’s Head of Research, Jon Neale, and last week’s pre-election budget announcement should boost investors’ confidence.

“With the election only a couple of months away, it is unsurprising that the UK budget contained nothing radical for business or property,” said Neale. “It was, instead, an affirmation that the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is presiding over one of the most dynamic and buoyant economies in the Western World – certainly one that is outperforming its Eurozone neighbours.

Aside from one policy designed to support the residential market, through saving incentives for buyers, the Chancellor announced few policies directly pertaining to the nation’s property market.

Yet the fact remains that London is the world’s number one global real estate investment city – last year, 15 percent of all global cross border capital poured into the British capital.

“London’s global attraction as a place to buy commercial property will continue undimmed,” added Neale.

However, infrastructure improvements to cities outside of London could strengthen investor interest in other regions.

“It is here [the regions], rather than London, where the biggest increases in volumes have been seen and this may be bolstered by the government’s announcement that it will fund transport improvements in the North of England, where large urban centres are held back by poor connectivity.”

While the governing coalition may take credit for steering the economy through the Global Financial Crisis, the coming election “remains the most closely fought in recent history”, says Neale. The long term outlook is positive, but investment volumes into UK property are expected to be “slightly lower than last year as a result of this uncertainty,” added Neale.

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