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Now is the time for foreign investors to act

Foreign buyers should get on with investing in the UK property sector, now there’s more certainty regarding whether the UK will leave the UK.

That’s the view of Patrick Alvarado, director of Knightsbridge estate agency Nicolas Van Patrick.

He said: “Foreign buyers who might have hoped for a further reduction in prices and the currency should we have woken up to a hung parliament or Jeremy Corbyn victory will realise this is no longer an option and those wishing to buy will also get on with it.

“We have already seen Sterling strengthen this morning against all major currencies and although most foreign buyers have probably already done their foreign exchange trades in anticipation of a purchase, those who haven’t will be doing so to avoid a less favourable exchange rate.”

Before the election the Conservatives said foreign investors would be subject to a additional 3% stamp duty surcharge, so buyers may look to invest before this comes into force.

However Roarie Scarisbrick, partner at Property Vision, cautioned that issues with the housing market still remain.

He said: “I’m sure all my friends in agency will be quick off the mark to predict a new bull run in our markets and while this is definitely good news, because a different result would have been very damaging, buyers launching themselves into the market today will soon be reminded that stamp duty is still cripplingly expensive and we are about to be hit with yet another 3% surcharge for foreign buyers which will hit central London hard.

“So while we will be busy with buyers who have been sitting on their hands for a while, and transactions will pick up, the structural issues in the market remain the same and boom time is unlikely.

“Also, vendors will feel strengthened by this so I expect a period of adjustment where buyers and sellers try to work out what this means.

“Sellers will be rubbing their hands with glee today but I don’t think this is a time to get greedy because again the issues remain the same and there are still choppy waters to cross with Brexit and stamp duty.”