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The Donald Trump effect: who will be the winners in the international property markets?

What impact will Donald Trump's unexpected election victory have on the US and UK property markets? Country Life canvassed opinions from agents across the market to gauge their initial views in the wake of Wednesday's surprise result.

Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election delivered one of the greatest shocks ever seen in US politics – or world politics, for that matter.

The stock markets have been on a wild ride from the moment the crucial results from Ohio and Florida came in, with huge falls followed by even bigger rallies.

Nothing unusual with any of that, of course: surprises and uncertainty always send share prices into a spin. But property markets are, by their very nature, slower to move. How will they react?

Nick Churton of the Mayfair Office estate agency – much of whose business is based in the ISA – is confident that things will carry on as normal.

“I imagine that just as after Brexit there will be initial shock followed by a period of reflection,” he told Country Life.

“But the new president will not take office until 20th January next year and it is too early in my view to gauge any impact that this result will have on the real estate market.”

Churton added that it is impossible to know how attitudes will change in the coming months, both among foreign investors and domestic buyers in the US – but he is confident that there will be no

”One thing I do know is that our clients wont let a little thing like a change of government get in the way of business,” he added.

“They will make this a positive – it’s the American way.”

Naomi Heaton, CEO of London Central Portfolio, sees things very differently, however – and worries about how the world is changing.

“There is clearly huge disenchantment,” she said.

“Don’t think that this is the end of it. We’re in for a huge period of global uncertainty; the issues we’re confronting are enormous.”

Heaton also believes that London is ideally-placed to benefit from instability elsewhere – both over the Atlantic and over the channel.

“There are elections coming up in France, the Netherlands, Germany,” she added, suggesting that the shock of Brexit might soon seem mild compared to what could happen in other countries.

“It’s a global revolution and people will want to know that their money is safe,” she said.

“We saw after the global credit crunch that, after gold, prime London property was the first thing to bounce back. It’s a blue chip, tangible asset – property in a tolerant, cosmopolitan city where the rule of law still applies.”

City of London in distance on misty morning

Heaton also noted that buyers from the Middle East are more likely to focus on the UK, since she feels that they are “less and less comfortable with America”.

That’s a view echoed elsewhere, with Camilla Dell of the Black Brick agency saying that, “we are likely to see some wealthy US citizens, particularly those most offended by Trump, move to the UK as some of our American clients hinted to us prior to this outcome.”

Paul Boomsma, president of US-based real estate association Luxury Portfolio International, disagrees strongly: unless major policy changes cause turmoil, Luxury Portfolio’s recent research (their Global Report on Luxury Real Estate was released just two weeks ago) suggests that demand will continue to be strong from buyers at the top of the market.

“The past few months, and the past 24 hours, have been an unsurprising reaction to uncertainty which always causes fluctuation in the stock market and a direct impact in the high-end real estate market,” she said.

“There is still considerable demand and interest from the global affluent. Considering the uncertainty that existed during the campaign, until policy changes are in effect we don’t foresee immediate market changes.”

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