Brexit – Is the panic real? It might seem like a long time ago now but just over a month ago on the 23rd of June, the people of Britain voted on whether or not they wanted to stay in the European Union. The result shook Britain but in particular, it shook London.
Now, I work in property recruitment and have seen the impact of the post-Brexit vote, I would be lying if I said it had no effect. But have I seen the result of Brexit, or have I witnessed what panic can do to a city? I have spoken to many people involved in property across London and the opinions have differed hugely, some believe this is the end of the world and others see this as an exciting challenge with exciting opportunities.
What have we heard?
- London will become like a desert with no food or water, just pure despair
- London house prices will plummet
- The pound will plummet so much we can never holiday again
- Everyone is now a racist
- Nobody will ever invest in England again
- Without Europe we are nobody
- Looting and rioting in the streets
- Jobs will vanish – literally, there will not be any jobs – ANYWHERE
These are some examples of panic and misunderstanding of the issues. Now some of these are valid points and I’m sure if we look at any situation from various angles we can see things differently. Before the referendum, an out vote wasn’t considered pure doom and gloom but when it happened and everyone panicked (especially in London) for many it was an opportunity to say “I told you so” and use a week of chaos to project this as the future of Britain. What I think people on both sides forgot after the debate is there were clear positive arguments for both sides.
Well, I am optimistic and positive, and it seems so are many of my clients. I spoke to a client last week who said Residential Sales in Prime Central London had increased by 10% and said the 2nd week of July was the best month for sales he had in 2 years. I’m not here to pretend there are not challenges to the Sales market but I believe much of this is through panic (To be honest if I was buying my first home I might be a bit nervous – because of the panic). On the Lettings side, it is booming with many clients saying it’s as good if not better than this time last year. They are open for business as usual.
Are we finally seeing a bit of calm in the market since the Brexit? I believe so, at least LinkedIn isn’t as depressing as it was a month ago. With the IMF (supposedly “experts”) coming out and saying that they made a mistake and now a recession doesn’t look likely, that will surely boost confidence (BUT let’s not forget they got it wrong on their last forecast). But what I have found most interesting are in areas where the majority of people voted Brexit have seen an increase in house price and the opposite for where people voted to remain. This, in my opinion, shows the effect of panic.
What we must realise is there will always be scaremongers we saw it before and after the vote. But most importantly there will always be change, history tells us this – whether it be to leave or remain. The property industry is not doom and gloom, although with every industry there will be good and bad times.
If you are currently working for a company that is making you feel that deals can’t be done or is using Brexit as a reason to not push forward don’t let them hold you back, there are PLENTY of great agencies still making money, still employing and still moving forward.
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