The majority of people who invest in the UK's commercial property market are opposed to the nation leaving the European Union (EU), a new survey has discovered. The commercial sector has become one of the strongest areas of the economy in recent times, with business sentiment improving all the time, taking total investment in the whole of 2013 to £53 billion. The main worry about leaving the EU would be that many business tenants would need to reevaluate their status in the UK, which could leave investors holding properties that they struggle to fill.
Of the 387 who were interviewed as a part of a poll conducted by property consultancy CBRE Group, it was found that 60 per cent would be opposed to the UK trying to leave the EU.They said that were the country to break away from the union, it would be to the serious detriment of the country's attractiveness as a place for investors to spend their money on commercial property. This would be because the UK would suddenly be an uncertain market for businesses, with many choosing to take their operation elsewhere as a result.
"The UK outside the EU would potentially clearly lose some of the benefits and advantages of being part of the EU free trade bloc," said Peter Damesick, chairman of CBRE's European research team. At the moment, the UK is the largest commercial property market in the whole of Europe, but Mr Damesick said that any plans to leave the EU could prove to be damaging and drive investors to other countries on the continent.
"Ultimately that's going to feed through to the strengthened diversity of property demand in the UK commercial property market and on that basis that would be a concern to investors," he added. For those who are not concerned about the effect that any political move away from the UK would have, some 33 per cent said it would do little to change the market either way, while only four per cent thought it would be good for the sector.
- Thursday 13 March 2014