Trump triumph shakes UK property market

Trump triumph shakes UK property market

Donald Trump's presidency could have a knock-on effect on the UK property market in 2017, the former chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has claimed.

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent, said despite the early words of "reconciliation" spoken by the new President-elect having the effect of calming stock markets, there is still a long-term potential for greater uncertainty.

Mr Leaf predicted: "At the very least it looks like we will have fewer transactions, tighter lending criteria, less housebuilding and higher rents – which is exactly the opposite of what we’re looking for at the moment."

The knock-on effect on sterling and the FTSE "inevitably has an impact on confidence" in the UK, Mr Leaf explained, particularly as the market is "already nervously anticipating the fall-out from Brexit".

According to Mr Leaf: "We are likely to see a further period of uncertainty because he will not be able to take any decisive action until he assumes power in mid-January. 

"That is a concern - a further period of limbo after until action is taken and in that time markets are likely to remain in uncertain territory. This is particularly problematic as it comes on the back of 18 months of limbo when the election result had been too close to call."

However, not all property specialists were worried about the effect a Republican President may have on the UK housing market.

eMoov's Prime Central London Property Index suggests there could be a resurgence in demand as Americans who previously held off buying homes in the capital after the UK's referendum in June and before the US elections may return in force.

Figures from the index suggest demand in prime central London’s (PCL) most prestigious areas has increased by more than 11 per cent since August and could continue to rise.

Russell Quirk, chief executive of eMoov, commented: "Today's surprising results in the presidential election could further this apparent resurgence in the PCL market, as Americans may begin looking across the pond to invest in the Capital’s top end market.  

"The decision to leave the European Union back in June sent panic reverberating across the top end London market and we saw buyer demand drop to its lowest level on record. 

"Since then the market has begun to find its feet again and we’ve seen the slight green shoots of a prime central market sprout from the rubble.

"Ironically, it could be this second political vote [in the US] that helps bolster demand in London’s top tier market and help grow these initial shoots further.”