Uncertainty and opportunity in the UK residential property market

Surprise results that fly in the face of expected outcomes always cause uncertainty. 2016 gave us Brexit and Donald J Trump in the White House. 2017 has so far given us a likely triggering of Article 50 by the spring. Again to the surprise of much expert opinion, pre-referendum doom appears to have been replaced by post-referendum boom – to date. Regardless, political and economic atmospheres remain febrile as a result and UK plc is arguably in its most unpredictable state in living memory.

This uncertainty is reflected throughout the UK residential property market with a unique brew of paradox, diversification, rental culture shift and investment opportunities. These atmospheric realities are all wrapped around a new and critically important Housing White Paper from Theresa May’s Government and one stark fact: UK population growth is outstripping our ability to build, creating an inevitable housing shortage.

How do all these threads knit together? At FirstPort’s recent Business Breakfast, held at the London Stock Exchange on 8th February 2017, three respected residential property specialists delivered their take on changing times from the developer, customer and investor perspective: Alastair Stewart of Progressive Equity Research; Nick Freeth of Retirement Homesearch and FirstPort Lettings Services; and Andrew Appleyard of Aviva Investors.

While there may be underlying weaknesses in the market, it also remains dynamic - although clearly off-kilter specifically with regard to a paradoxical performance in London markets. However, the long term development and investment opportunities are significant – as are the widening choices for buyer customers. This Briefing Paper digs into the current trends and seeks to translate their implications for the way residential housing in the UK will likely calibrate itself as we begin moving into the Brexit era.

Click here to read the FirstPort briefing report.

March 2017