Investor series slides & content extract: from the investment mastermind event on 18th October 2018
The next two weeks – to December 11th – may be the last opportunity for overseas investors to take advantage of the weakness of the pound to invest in the UK property market with a potential sign off of Theresa May’s Brexit deal in the works.
On Sunday, EU leaders from the 27 countries remaining in the bloc voted unanimously and quickly to approve the Brexit deal thrashed out between EU negotiator Michel Barnier and British Prime Minister Theresa May’s team.
As soon as pen was put to paper on the deal, the clock started ticking on the two-week run-up to the vote on the British Parliamentary vote on December 11th to approve the deal. This was despite the majority of MPs claiming they will vote against what has been put to them. Regardless of what MPs say now, this two week period could be the countdown to the end of a rare opportunity for overseas investors.
While the pound hit a six month high after the news emerged of a breakthrough in talks on a deal, this optimism turned to negativity quickly when it became clear May was facing up to the insurmountable task of getting this through Parliament. So far, all opposition and minority parties in the House of Commons, including Labour, the Liberal Democrats and SNP have indicated they will vote against the deal, while the Conservative Party’s confidence-and-supply partners, the DUP have said they will vote it down leaving the Conservatives in a minority. To make matters worse for the Prime Minister, up to 60 of her own MPs on both the Leave and Remain side have said they will vote against, making a winning vote a near impossibility. May’s refusal to discuss what happens in the increasingly likely situation of a rejection of the deal has led to further confusion over what happens next.
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But while this is a problem for markets right now, it also marks the perfect opportunity for overseas investors looking to grab a share of the traditionally strong UK property market. Within the next few weeks, regardless of the result of the parliamentary vote, the future will start to look clearer – even if that means a “no deal” Brexit.
As the markets gain greater certainty over the future of the UK, the opportunity for taking advantage of the Brexit-induced collapse in sterling will narrow. Right now, against some currencies, sterling is down between 20-30% from before the referendum vote in 2016. That, effectively, gives overseas and foreign investors 20-30% more spending power in the UK property market.
If you’re going to invest, don’t delay – find an investment before the window of opportunity possibly closes in the next few weeks.
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