UK estate agents are seeing booming interest from Americans looking to relocate with the US Presidential election result just hours away. Some deals are linked to the outcome of this week’s election.
One agent, Toby Cockcroft, director of Croft UK Real Estate which specialises in country houses in Yorkshire, has seen inquiries increase by 50-60% this year and is setting up a buying agency on the east coast of America to meet demand.
He told EYE: “We have recently agreed sales on smaller-end £400,000 to £500,000 properties from US buyers and we are also retained to act for half a dozen who are looking to invest significant wealth by way of property
“Initially there was lots of interest due to the pound, but the uncertainty over the election is putting the fear of God into Americans.
“Americans are looking for stability and security, and with the scariness and uncertainty that the election could bring, they are looking to set up shop elsewhere.”
“The Trump factor is often the first thing that gets mentioned, but either way, many Americans don’t think it’s great and aren’t sure about Clinton either.”
Carter Jonas has also seen rocketing demand in the capital. Tim Macpherson, head of London residential for the agent, said: “As Trump and Clinton continue their battle for the White House, inquiries from American buyers for property in prime central London are rocketing and we have a number of deals linked to the election outcome.
“Buyers are in despair over the prospect of Trump as president – not just because they dislike him as a person or because they disagree with his policies, but because they think he will destroy the US economy.
“It’s of little surprise that the shrewd amongst them are acting fast to move their assets to the safety of the UK.
“Indeed, there is much speculation that a Trump victory could create a bounce in London’s property market – particularly in areas such as Mayfair, which is the traditional heartland of US buyers.
“With the dollar performing with such strength against the pound, it could perpetuate the buoyancy that we’ve already witnessed across PCL post-Brexit.”
It comes as data from agents Stirling Ackroyd found the cost of the average London house has fallen 9.2% for buyers from the United States in the past 12 months due to the pound falling from $1.53 to $1.23.
Earlier this year a Morning Consult/Vox poll of almost 2,000 registered voters revealed that 28% of Americans have at least considered leaving the United States if Trump is elected, with a number citing Canada and the UK as likely destinations.
Nick Davies, head of residential development at Stirling Ackroyd, said: “For Americans left cursing Clinton or terrified of Trump, it’s worth considering a move to London. The recent fall in the value of the pound against the dollar means there are great deals available in the London market for buyers from across the Atlantic.
“While the capital’s house prices have risen 13% year-on-year for domestic buyers, those using the dollar will find homes in London are almost 10% cheaper than a year ago.
“With the culture of the West End, thousands of years of history and fantastic employment opportunities, London has lots to offer US buyers, aside from a declining cost of living. And, of course, British winters aren’t as cold as Canada’s.”