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International investors spooked by Brexit fears

There has been a notable fall in the number of overseas nationals investing in the UK’s commercial property sector due to growing uncertainty ahead of the looming EU referendum, fresh research shows.

A new survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found that many investors are now adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach until after the vote on 23 June, with demand among international investors for UK commercial property currently at its lowest level since RICS records began two years ago.

Just 5% of surveyors have reported a rise in interest from overseas firms over the last three months, down from 36% in Q2 2015.


Almost four in ten surveyors cited uncertainty caused by the EU referendum as the main reason why major foreign investment in Britain had fallen.

If the people of Britain vote to leave the EU, 43% of respondents felt it would have a negative impact on the commercial property sector. Only 6% said it would have a positive impact on the market.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, commented: “There is no doubt that since the EU referendumm became a certainty following the general election last May, we have seen a decline in interest from overseas investors in UK commercial property.

“At least in the short-term, we know what international retailers and service providers are finding the UK market less attractive.”


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