Cloud of uncertainty now over the UK housing market

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The UK housing market is under a cloud of uncertainty after the Conservatives failed to gain a strong majority in the General Election, according to industry commentators.

Despite the setback the Conservatives are set to form a government with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party after gaining 318 seats, eight short of a majority.

Lauren Kemp, senior manager of investment and communications at London Central Portfolio, reckoned the UK and London housing markets will take a hit after Labour’s surprise surge.

She said: “Whilst it is most likely that the Conservative party will form a coalition with the DUP to create a working majority, the UK looks set to face an extended period of uncertainty, historically unattractive to inward investment.”

Both John Phillips, group operations director at Just Mortgages and Spicerhaart and Nigel Green, founder and chief executive of deVere Group, agreed that the market will be slow for the time being.

Phillips said: “Some buyers and sellers have recently adopted the wait and see approach and it is likely that the market will quieten down again next week while things start to settle down.

“However, as things start to unravel, I am hopeful that the market will soon get back to the norm.”

And Green said: “With Theresa May’s job now surely on the line, just as the UK is set to begin Brexit negotiations, and a clear shift in voting dynamics across Britain, there is yet another enormous storm cloud of uncertainty about who will lead talks and how they will do so.

“Indeed, we’re entering into a perfect storm of chaos and the uncertainty is set to unleash mayhem across global financial markets, at least in the short term, as they react to the growing question marks hanging over the British parliamentary landscape. ”

Despite the doom and gloom Kemp reckoned the outcome of the election isn’t bad news for international property investors.

She added: “The weakened position of the Conservative party, in conjunction with a pro ‘soft-border’ DUP, would suggest that the UK will be on course for a softer Brexit.

“This outcome may well be attractive both to institutions considering their position in the City of London and international investors looking at the UK, particularly as global events such as the Trump-Russia affair and continuing destabilisation in the Middle East is causing even greater economic and political flux outside the UK.”

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