John Forrester, EMEA Chief Executive of Cushman & Wakefield, said: “The property sector has probably followed the UK referendum on EU membership more closely than any other industry and has witnessed the impact of the uncertainty and speculation in the run up to the vote.
“While the decision of the UK electorate is now confirmed, a period of further uncertainty is unavoidable as businesses, the financial markets and the political establishment in the UK, Europe and globally come to terms with what this means.
“Clearly the impact of this decision will be felt beyond the UK’s shores as the UK is the EU’s third largest market by population. We are therefore entering a period of unprecedented change as markets and sectors adapt. What is clear is that in any scenario there will always be opportunities and those will become clear in the weeks and months ahead.”
Digby Flower, Chair of UK & Ireland and Head of London Markets at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “The London markets will remain paused or at least moving in slow motion whilst businesses absorb the impact of the exit vote. Whilst occupiers with lease events will have to make decisions, those with strategic plans will move slowly. Take-up levels are therefore likely to moderate and levels of rental growth to reduce.
“We will continue to see occupiers moving roles that it is not essential to perform in London to cheaper locations. This will be particularly true in the financial and legal sectors where offshoring and north shoring are well established trends.
“We do not, however, anticipate wholesale relocation of City businesses to other European centres as these simply do not have the infrastructure or stock, but there will be selective head office relocations to Europe and leakage of teams within the investment banking and insurance sectors.
“In the capital markets, as a result of weakening sterling it is likely there will be opportunistic buying by private investors, but institutional investors will hesitate to commit to either purchase or sale decisions until the effects of BREXIT become clearer. Overall volumes are therefore likely to remain subdued.”