What are the opportunities post-Brexit?

19 Sep 2018

While we still have little idea of what the future UK-EU relationship will look like, we must be confident in the fundamental attributes of our cities – they will continue to underpin the UK’s status as a global leader, thanks to their world-class reputation for both life and work – and in the real estate industry’s role in enabling this success.

If our nation’s history can teach us anything, it is that political and economic road bumps are not uncommon, and innovation and opportunity have always endured across the UK.

Undeniably, the continuing uncertainty caused by Brexit is not helpful for both business confidence and investor sentiment in the short term. However, real estate is a long-term industry. Looking beyond Westminster’s political rhetoric and spin, and the twists and turns of Brexit, our metro mayors and city leaders have committed to providing much-needed vision and are busy putting plans in place on the ground to generate business activity and improve economic and social wellbeing.

Positive change

Consequently, the opportunities for both the UK’s cities and the real estate industry are clear: positive change that will support people’s lives and their work will happen, and our industry is vital in delivering the physical fabric that enables this.

Through the British Property Federation, our industry is already working in partnership with national, regional and local governments – regardless of the Brexit noise in parliament – to make this vision a reality.

Investors attending any one of the many global property conferences – and perhaps considering opportunities across the UK – will not fail to be struck by this collaboration and the consistency in its message. From MIPIM to Expo Real, you will see evidence that the public and private sectors are working more closely than ever before to showcase our cities, their real estate markets and achievements, and that they remain one of the world’s most investable propositions.

You need only to take a trip to any of the UK’s cities to see this being brought to life. In London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield and Leeds the public and private sectors are collaborating in a way we have not seen for some time. We are only just beginning to scratch the surface, though. Much more is yet to come.

Partnership is as important today as it has ever been – if not more important. Regardless of how Brexit is concluded (and in whatever form), businesses will still require the essential infrastructure that real estate provides. Everyone will still need places to work, homes at different stages of their lives, as well as retail and leisure facilities in which to meet and relax.

Social objectives

Long-term investment in this infrastructure is not only inextricably linked to our cities’ economies; it also supports many of the government’s social objectives in education and healthcare, and in creating sustainable communities and ensuring everyone has access to high-quality housing.

These are the foundations for the UK’s post Brexit aspirations. Undoubtedly, with the right policy support and effective partnership, real estate will continue as a high-performing asset class and a major contributor to our cities’ – and the UK’s – future success.