Trump Victory Seen Spurring Foreign Demand for London Property

  • Investors seeking safe assets expected to target London homes
  • Falling pound helping as home prices post only modest decline

Trump’s Impact on the U.K. Commercial Property Market

Donald Trump may be good for the London housing market.

That’s according to property website operator Rightmove, which says Trump’s shock election victory could spur the return of international investors seeking a safe haven.

While asking prices in the capital fell for a fifth month, the 0.3 percent drop was much smaller than the 1.5 percent average seen in November over the past six years, it said in a report published Monday. The pound’s slide is helping to fuel demand.

“It is far too early to say that prices have re-adjusted enough to bring buyers back in volume, though there are reports that buyers with assets in currencies that have appreciated against sterling are buying again,”said Miles Shipside, housing-market analyst at Rightmove. “London’s status as a safe haven for overseas investors may perhaps be confirmed by the unexpected result of the U.S. election.”

Trump’s win sparked a rally in global stocks but wiped more than $1 trillion off the value of bonds around the world on fears the president elect’s policies will boost inflation and prospects for higher interest rates. That’s also made investors dump higher-yielding emerging-market assets.

Change Seen

Real-estate agent Strutt & Parker said it expected increasing demand for prime central London property from North American buyers, who currently account for as little as 2 percent in any quarter.

“They aren’t currently a significant part of the market,” said Stephanie McMahon, head of research. “Following Trump’s triumph in the USA presidential election it is possible that this may change.”

London’s most expensive districts have fallen out of favor since the June 23 Brexit vote and April’s tax surcharge on investment properties. At 56 days, the time taken to sell a property in and around the capital has risen by almost a third since April, though it remains well below that in other parts of the country. 

Overall, Rightmove said that prices in the U.K. fell 1.1 percent in November, which is normally a slow month for sales. The average value of a home stood at 305,670 ($386,000), less than half the London average of 643,838 pounds.

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