Managing partner Peter Wells of Real Capital Solutions Spain tackles the tricky issue of Brexit and the British buying market on the Costa del Sol.
How did you feel about the referendum result?
Given the Populist mood around the globe, it was not surprising. Many people are feeling that they have given away their identities to an amorphous “global governance”, and they have surrendered their futures to faceless bureaucrats. The referendum gives the UK a fresh start, and an opportunity for positive change.
Has the referendum affected any plans of expansion?
No, in a word. Markets, buyers, sellers are perpetually in a state of flux. As one group of buyers may recede, they are quickly replaced by another group. The Costa del Sol has seen a downturn of buyers from the UK, a phenomenon that I believe is transitory, but the market has seen a marked increase in buyers from France, due in large part to an increased tax burden imposed in France. With the 17% devaluation of the Pound, London is experiencing a marked increase in consumers seeking luxury goods. The low prices are also attracting high end tourists. This phase will run its course, and will eventually re-balance. The fundamentals of the desirability of London as an attractive urban centre have not changed. Our company will continue to grow both on the Costa del Sol and we will expand into other markets.
Do you see any further complications arising after Brexit?
There are endless unintended consequences that may unfold as the Brexit negotiations get underway. It is extremely hard to predict these situations, so yes, I would anticipate further complications. It remains to be seen how the European community will react to the decision, and whether their decisions will be based on a sense of retaliation, or common sense for the general good for all. We maintain an overriding sense of optimism.
What advice would you give Theresa May and her government?
I would advise her administration to focus on policies that are pro-growth for the entire population, and not focus on policies that disregard the hardships of the worker, while enriching those in the upper tiers of the economic spectrum.
All buying decisions are based on confidence, confidence in the State, the stability of the economic situation, the currency and the product. My advice would be to enact growth policies that enhance confidence overall.
Do we have a company comment re Brexit?
In all markets and life in general, there are ebbs and flows. Barring an unlikely catastrophic event somewhere in the world, the UK and Europe will hammer out an acceptable new trading arrangement over time. In the meantime, life goes on. Children are born, people marry, people retire and the desirability of a primary residence or a holiday home on the Costa del Sol remains as never before. Transportation is affordable and convenient. The need for quality “down time” in this complicated world, remains as never before. The sun still shines on the Costa del Sol, and the clock has not stopped ticking.
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