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PIA: “Brexit a Chance to Re-Shape the UK Real Estate Industry”

A leading industry body has urged the UK Government to consider the perks that Brexit could bring to the country’s real estate sector when negotiating its exit from the EU.

A leading industry body has urged the UK Government to consider the perks that Brexit could bring to the country’s real estate sector when negotiating its exit from the EU.

Overseas investment in UK commercial real estate is a major contributor to the country’s Gross Value Added (GVA) and productivity, a factor that should not be risked by an exit from the European Union, said the Property Industry Alliance (PIA) – an assembly of leading representative bodies from the UK’s commercial property industry.


The PIA believes that is crucial for the UK government to acknowledge the scope for change and growth that Brexit could bring to the property sector, particularly in regards to the EU legislations that thwart the speed and processing of both domestic and overseas transactions of UK real estate.


An efficient commercial property market leads to wider investment in physical and digital infrastructure, claims the group.


With the sector contributing to the fundamental architecture of towns and cities across the UK, the industry assists with the expansion of workforces and the improvement of environmental performance, as well as adding £16 billion to the UK economy in funds generated through taxation.


The PIA, therefore, urges the UK Government to consider the shortage of skills in the sector and to formulate a Brexit response that focuses on maintaining the mobility of workers, also as a means to assemble a highly trained and skilled workforce.


An opportunity to streamline the UK’s public procurement rules should also be taken, as the current ‘inefficient’ system set by EU forces results in investment delays and unnecessary costs.


Similarly, the PIA reckons that a more simplistic and fairer tax regime for the real estate and infrastructure sectors could be established outside of EU rules, potentially igniting investor interest, increasing domestic activity and retaining the country’s competitive position.


Voicing the group’s Brexit manifesto, Bill Hughes, chairman of the PIA, said:


‘Real estate is a critical and enabling part of the UK’s economy, shaping our towns and cities and channelling productive investment into the real economy.


‘The UK asset management industry is one of the largest in the world and a key contributor to the UK economy. Within it, real estate is a core investment asset for private and professional investors, both domestic and global, particularly for its income-generating characteristics. The ability of the industry to continue to undertake cross border activity from the UK and retain mobility of talent is crucially important.


‘As such, it is critical that we do not sit and wait to see what a post-Brexit world might look like. We have the chance to shape our real estate industry for the benefit of the UK.’


Earlier this week, the latest house price sentiment index from Knight Frank and IHS Markit revealed that confidence in the UK property market reached a post-Brexit high in January.

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