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UK election: What does a Conservative majority mean for UK real estate?

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UK election: What does a Conservative majority mean for UK real estate?

As the United Kingdom wakes up to the biggest Conservative majority since 1987, Executive Director - Alternative Investments, Nick Terry reflects on what the result could mean for the U.K. real estate industry.

For real estate investors, the UK’s third election in five years has provided a much needed majority government.

Regardless of one’s view on Brexit, a government which has the ability to deliver some certainty will be welcome news to investors following the uncertainty which has plagued the country since the EU referendum in 2016. Almost immediately as the exit polls were released, sterling shot up against the dollar to a near 18-month high. This will be very welcome news to those overseas with existing U.K. real estate portfolios and is sure to assist real estate investors in making transactional decisions, notably following anecdotal reports on the use of “Corbyn clauses” within contracts. Furthermore, while from a real estate perspective the election result will do nothing to ease questions over the viability and covenant strength of some retailers, developers and landlords will certainly be pleased to avoid the tax, rent controls and affordable housing provisions that the Labour manifesto promised.

Whether the withdrawal agreement will now pass before Christmas and if the finer points of the long-term EU/U.K. trading relationship can be settled by December 2020 remain to be seen, but with a working majority, it’s likely that progress will be made. 2020 is looking like it could be a positive year for U.K. Real Estate and transaction volumes will undoubtedly start to increase, possibly as early as this month. 

Nick Terry is an Executive Director and Chartered Surveyor in Ocorian’s Real Assets team and looks after multiple U.K. and European real estate structures. To view our full range of real estate investment structuring services, click here.

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