Thursday, 17 November 2016

The Trump Effect

The election of Donald Trump to the post of US President might seem like a distant geo-political anomaly that will have little bearing on our East Anglian bubble. After all, Suffolk has proved not only remarkably resilient to Brexit but surprisingly buoyant – despite the uncertainty that reigns over our cousins in the capital, only 90 minutes down the road.

However, given our proximity to London, we should be pricking our ears to the opportunity that the knock-on effect of the new President Trump could engender for us.

As the world takes stock of this new political landscape, our counterparts in the capital are preparing to see a movement of affluent Americans from major cities across the US into Prime Central London.

The pound remains attractive to dollar based buyers in the wake of Brexit, who still see relative market stability in London and, as a result, view it as a place to invest their money in property.  Keen to shelter from any ensuing political and economic upset, a number of buyers registered with our London offices during the presidential campaigns, with a view to progressing their purchase pending a Trump victory. Now that has happened, follow up interest is already underway.

There is also much anticipation of a potential power shift between New York and London, with a new wave of professionals, originating from Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and even Tokyo, as well as investors from the Middle East, now looking to do business in alternative locations to the US. London is, inevitably, a primary contender for such activity, especially given the stability that our Prime Minister, Theresa May, provides, as well as the financial reassurance that Mark Carney brings, following confirmation that he will remain in role as governor of the Bank of England until 2019.

Of course it’s not just international buyers who we expect to see searching for refuge in London; there is also a population of ex-pats residing in the US, who have fluctuated for some time over their decision to return to the UK. For many, the Trump victory has forced their hand, with the prospect of living under his leadership simply too unpalatable.

This influx of jetsetters and ex-pats is set to inject some much needed liquidity into the London market, empowering homeowners who have otherwise been too paralysed by uncertainty to move.

So how does this impact on our local market? This will hopefully free the London buyers up to start buying in the country again. With its comparative affordability combined with its excellent commutability, Suffolk is the destination of choice for many. This should help stimulate the top end of the market again as the £1m plus market has struggled since 2014 when the stamp duty thresholds were so significantly changed. And if our government is wise enough to announce a reduction in SDLT in the Autumn Statement, we could have quite a bit to smile about.

Caroline Edwards
Residential Sales, Long Melford

T: 01787 888622

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