Has a recent UK election cleared the way for more real estate buying in the US?

Nick Churton in Robert Paul Properties’ London office looks at how a recent election in the UK has cleared the way for more real estate buying in the US.

In a surprisingly decisive vote the UK chose Brexit – again. In December, Boris Johnson led his Conservative Party to general election victory with an unexpectedly large majority. This result secured him the numbers needed to carry through his promise to “get Brexit done” – an election trope that will join the list of the world’s most effective, such as “it’s the economy, stupid” and “there you go again”.

What this means for real estate markets remains to be seen. But there are signs that buyers and sellers in the UK, weary from three years of political uncertainty, are once again daring to dream of their next home.

There remain uncertainties: the UK still has a lot of work to do clinching worldwide trade deals, and no one is certain what arrangements there will be with the European Union concerning rights for UK home buyers and owners in countries such as France and Spain. It does seem likely, however, that there will be residency restrictions affecting the number of months Brits will be able to live in European Union countries each year.

These restrictions also affect UK buyers and vacation homeowners in the US. But up to now the attraction of Europe has been the length of continuous residency available. Now that could change, and Europe may have near parity with the US in these restrictions, so more Brits could look for property across the Atlantic rather than across the English Channel. The shared language, the high standard of American homes and the exciting way of life are just three significant attractions.

With the UK’s trading horizons extended, there will be more Brits buying abroad for business and employment purposes, bringing the US into sharp focus for UK home buyers.

All this won’t happen overnight. But it is the way the international real estate market works. The economic climate, fiscal measures, employment and political uncertainties all combine to alter national priorities. One year it is the Russians who are buying, then the Venezuelans and Brazilians, only for them to disappear and leave the field open to another nationality or two. It is the ebb and flow of the international real estate market.

Nick Churton and Annette Reeve of Mayfair International Realty, run Robert Paul Properties’ London Office.