Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 165 Bedfords Review | Issue Four Property COMMENT that she intends to use the power of Government to repair the ‘dysfunctional housing market’ and that she is committed to more houses being built. However, it is likely that the range of homes being built may broaden in the coming years, with renewed emphasis on affordable housing and homes for housing associations being seen as a way of delivering on this rather vague promise. As Article 50 and Brexit negotiations develop over the next couple of years, there will be some volatility in consumers' attitudes, and forecasts of a slowdown in the growth of UK property prices reflect buyer sentiment towards economic and political uncertainty. The next 24 months may see a further reduction in transaction levels – already at a fearful low – but what impact would this have on prices? The legacy of the Credit Crunch, low interest rates, mortgage regulation and low volume levels, should have the The Buchan Observer recently read, “Aberdeenshire business owner wins presidential election”. This droll take on the news that Donald Trump, owner of a Scottish golf course, had been victorious, demonstrates rather wittily how we in the 21st century maintain a global outlook, yet remain firmly rooted in our localities. Of course, we all wonder to what extent world events may have an impact upon us and we have had more than our fair share to worry about during the course of 2016; Brexit and the resignation of a Prime Minister, the subsequent Shakespearian leadership spat between Boris and Michael Gove and now Trump’s election on a populist manifesto. So, to what extent should we worry about the future of the property market in Suffolk and Norfolk? What tends to happen in a time of uncertainty is people defer making big decisions, such as the purchase of a new house, unless and until they are absolutely confident in that decision. So we can expect some nervousness amongst buyers in the short term. Theresa May has indicated effect of underpinning house prices. Furthermore, a reluctance to make a decision such as to move house, is usually temporary; our desire to carry on with our lives is strong, and as we see others keeping calm and carrying on, our reluctance diminishes, and we are more likely to keep calm and carry on ourselves. I wouldn’t be surprised if economic growth were to return as soon as things settle down and I have no doubt that the East of England will fare better than many. So, whilst there is evidence of a swing away from globalisation, there will still be challenges ahead as we leave the EU. However, it is highly unlikely the election of the 45th President of the United States will have a significant effect on the local property market. After all, the strength of the dollar against the pound, together with an influx of disillusioned Americans seeking to move abroad, could well provide a welcome by- product of his election victory. Mr Trump could always buy a golf course in Norfolk…and then, who knows what the headline in the EDP might read? ‘A reluctance to make a decision such as to move house, is usually temporary; our desire to carry on with our lives is strong’ COMMENT James Bedford Partner, Bury St Edmunds office 2016 has been a year of big decisions 5 Our views on an unpredictable year in politics, and its impact, if any, on the housing market. Bedfords Review | Issue Four