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New Survey Shows How Brexit Fears Hurt UK Real Estate Before Any Votes Were Cast

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American banks slashed their UK commercial property lending in half in the days before the Brexit vote as uncertainty over Britain’s economic and political future grew, according to a new survey.

De Montfort University analyzed the lending behavior of 78 lenders and found their lending market share dropped from 14% to 7% in the six months leading up to the vote, Bloomberg reports. To pick up the slack, UK banks and member-owned lenders were forced to advance 44% of new loans, a full 10% more than the levels of the previous six months.

According to Brookland Partners managing partner Nassar Hussain, banks were worried Brexit could increase risk by making it significantly harder to sell loans. At the same time, purchases of UK commercial property plummeted by almost 50% in the first half as investors backed away from the market and awaited the outcome of the Brexit vote. [Bloomberg]