The campaigning has finished, the result is now know and having spoken to many friends, landlords and tenants over the last few weeks I am surprised that the markets were so sure that the result would be in favour of remaining to the point that the markets and value of the pound all rose yesterday before the polls closed. I feel that this shows how the markets/large financial institutions based in London possibly don’t see the bigger picture outside of the M25. As expected London on the whole voted to remain, but this was a UK vote so hopefully in the future they will remember to consider the rest of the country.
How is this likely to impact on Dunstable and the surrounding areas ?
Dunstable and Luton are now seen as ‘London Overspill’ and over the last 24 months we have seen homeowners and tenants who cannot afford the prices of property in London, Watford , Hemel Hempstead and St Albans moving to Luton and Dunstable where the prices are affordable and they still have links to London on the M1 and by rail. Of course there is ‘London Luton Airport’ ( this one not renamed by Michael O’Leary of Ryanair ) and in February 2015 REMAX Property Centre advertised a development of luxury flats in Luton as "one of the most cosmopolitan areas of London". This advert was removed but it does highlight the link being made between Luton and London.
This increase in demand has seen the prices of property to buy and rent increase sharply in the last 12 months although as noted in my article on the 4th April there has recently been a slowing evident in the market with a number of properties both for sale and to rent being reduced in price.
The demand for rental property in Dunstable is still very high and the quality of property expected by tenants increases as they see renting as a lifestyle choice. With Amazon in Dunstable due to increase the number employees by the hundreds in the near future and potentially over 1000 new employees demand will continue as will the demand for employees in the other large companies based in the Woodside Industrial Estate.
Many of these workers are from EU countries such as Poland, Romania and Hungary and require rented accommodation in the nearby area. The Brexit result does not mean EU nationals already living here will leave so don’t expect a mass exodus.
The sales market will be harder to predict as the impact of the rising London house prices has pushed buyers out to Dunstable. Many of the properties bought in London are investment properties for overseas investors and the economic slowdown in countries such as China has resulted in these investors pulling back on their London investments. This has resulted in a slowing down in the London housing market which is likely to have some impact on the surrounding towns. As we saw form the London financial markets predictions for the referendum result and the resulting swings in the markets before and after the result any impact is likely to bear on the London market and ripple through to the towns just outside the M25.
Daniel Bourke is the owner of Belvoir Lettings Dunstable and in his previous career in Architecture he was an Associate in a leading London Architectural practice