UK real estate sector confident of thriving post-Brexit

UK real estate sector is confident of thriving post-Brexit, shows research

The real estate sector in the UK is confident that it can thrive post-Brexit times, according to a research by Shakespeare Martineau. The study covered 70 business leaders in the real estate sector which revealed high levels of optimism about Brexit as 70 per cent of the respondents believe that Britain will be strong enough to be independent from the EU.

This optimism is countered by wider worries about immigration and trade. 80 per cent of businesses believe that the continued flow of immigration is necessary to fill the skills gap in the sector, which is likely to increase as access to skilled labour becomes more difficult. The effects of the skills gap will be felt not only by construction businesses, but also by areas such as planning, engineering and surveying.

The real estate sector is aware of the risks posed by Brexit to long-term project work. Whilst 1 in 7 respondents stated they were planning to or have already pulled a project due to Brexit, a significant number are primarily UK-focused and as such only 6 per cent are moving functions or operations from the UK.

Head of commercial real estate at Shakespeare Martineau, Adrian Bland said that ever since Article 50 was triggered, the social and political environment has been markedly unsettled. There is still a worrying amount to negotiate in a tremendously short time. One thing is for certain – Brexit will change the way business is conducted in the real estate sector and across the UK as a whole.

The value of commercial real estate is intrinsically linked to the prosperity of the economy. The industry contributes over £94 billion in the UK each year. The investment it attracts encourages growth, productivity and is a catalyst for urban regeneration. Real estate will play a crucial role in constructing an optimistic future for the UK outside of the EU. The prosperity of this highly-entrepreneurial sector is essential for the success of the economy as a whole.

Many mid-market businesses have experienced pressure as a result of uncertainty created by Brexit. However, whilst other sectors prefer waiting for clarity, the real estate industry is highly cyclical and its entrepreneurial people react rapidly to change as it happens.

Bland added that Brexit is unlike anything else we have experience in recent times because it is so intricate and uncertain. Our research demonstrates that, although real estate businesses have shown optimism in the face of Brexit, they need to be prepared for the unprecedented changes ahead, harnessing their innate determination and self-sufficiency. By developing financial resilience, managing supply chain risk and collaborating with industry peers, the sector can position itself in the best way possible.

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