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Property Fears A Labour Government More Than Brexit

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As 2018 approaches, we asked eight industry experts about their hopes, fears and predictions for real estate over the next 12 to 18 months.

Fear of a Labour government and the future of the build-to-rent sector were the big themes, as well as a cheeky M&A prediction. 

Legal & General Investment Management head of real assets Bill Hughes

Property Fears A Labour Government More Than Brexit
Legal & General Investment Management head of real assets Bill Hughes

"I fear that a Labour government would bring in draconian rent controls, thereby stopping the build-to-rent sector in its tracks. We need to engage and provide industry leadership around how to ensure rental property remains sustainable and rental levels are predictable."

Prestbury chairman Nick Leslau

Property Fears A Labour Government More Than Brexit
Prestbury Chairman Nick Leslau

"Any personal anxiety about Brexit is dwarfed by the Damoclean political sword swinging above our heads. Whilst Brexit was always going to produce a bumpy interim ride, the threat of a ruthless Marxist government setting the clock back 40 years fills me with complete dread."

Urban & Civic Chief Executive Nigel Hugill

Property Fears A Labour Government More Than Brexit
Urban & Civic Chief Executive Nigel Hugill

"The Evening Standard will just pip the Financial Times on column inches devoted to Brexit. Outside London people do not read either and will shrug their shoulders as U.K. economic growth continues to exceed bleak expectations. Extended transitioning exposes the prospect of the Conservatives falling between two stools, causing the property markets finally to focus on the existentialist risks of a change of government."

Landsec head of progranmmes and application management Michelle Senior

Property Fears A Labour Government More Than Brexit
Landsec head of progranmmes and application management Michelle Senior

"Customer intimacy will be key to anticipating changing customer demands and developing new products or services. By bringing together environmental factors, behaviours and other consumer data, smart retailers will predict future demands and innovate to meet them."

Spaces Property head of development Zafar Bhunnoo

Property Fears A Labour Government More Than Brexit
Spaces head of development Zafar Bhunnoo

"Between now and the end of 2018, I fear that the attraction for the young workforce of London will wane. This is predominantly linked to the lack of housing options available to them and the sheer unaffordability for people who earn above the affordable housing threshold, but not enough for prime rentals and don’t have an immediate desire to start putting down roots.

The sentiment of the Greater London Authority to drive down land prices by introducing further restrictions on innovative development is a commendable one, but one that will never happen. Ask any GLA member who is a homeowner wishing to sell in the U.K. to reduce their asking price and see what they say."

British Property Federation Chief Executive Melanie Leech

Property Fears A Labour Government More Than Brexit
British Property Federation Chief Executive Melanie Leech

"My aspiration for 2018 is that the government has entered into a new partnership with the real estate industry, which understands that real estate is a strategic driver for the economy through the homes and business infrastructure it delivers, and unleashes its full potential through the right policy and fiscal instruments."

Grainger Chief Executive Helen Gordon

Property Fears A Labour Government More Than Brexit
Grainger Chief Executive Helen Gordon

“London’s success will be determined by its resilience, and the build-to-rent market is critical to securing this with its ability to deliver housing suitable for London workers and ensuring London can compete against other global cities in attracting and retaining talent. With almost 100,000 new homes in the pipeline nationally, I believe 2018 will be the year that the private-rented and build-to-rent sectors come into their own.”

Said Business School visiting professor of management practice Andrew Baum

Property Fears A Labour Government More Than Brexit
Said Business School visiting professor of management practice Andrew Baum

"WeWork will float and buy Great Portland Estates at discount to net asset value."

Hear from everyone above and more at Bisnow's London State of the Market conference 15 November.