It goes without saying that the US presidential election is an event of mighty proportions that has the power to affect markets on a global scale. This is made even more relevant due to the division in the candidates and their seemingly opposing views. But how will the property market in London be affected in any event?
A Trump win would no doubt send the press into doomsday frenzy, in much the same way the Brexit result triggered a deluge of negativity. This is sure to result in increased uncertainty, which could lead to foreign buyers, for example, purchasing in London over New York in the immediate short term. Trump winning could well out-weigh the current negative press around Brexit and improve how the UK is perceived by foreigners as we look better in relative terms. Couple that with the weak pound, and London could well be seen as the more stable and profitable alternative.
This miniature boost to the London property market would continue into the prime New Year buying season, as the inauguration of the president will happen at the end of January 2017, no doubt with great ceremony and associated press. It may very well be a defibrillation that the UK enjoys.
A Hillary win, by virtue of the fact that she is a wife of a former president and already well installed into the political wheels of power, will likely result in less uncertainty. Citibank recently announced that a Trump victory could lead to a sell-off of around 4pc in the S&P 500 compared to a small increase if Hillary were to win.
The press will no doubt react with a more measured response that will have a calming affect on the markets and will likely not hold headlines for as long. A Clinton win would also feel much more like business as usual, which would be felt here in London with the likely stronger dollar potentially helping to shore-up the property market.
One thing both Trump and Hillary share in a victory is that each of them would win the award for the most unpopular candidate in history to be elected. That leaves a large portion of the electorate unhappy with the outcome no matter the result, in much the same way as the Brexit.
The fact is that the enemy of a strong market, uncertainty, is on the way in the shape of either Trump or Hillary, only more so with Trump. Here in Britain the property market has been locked down with its own particular troubles for some time. Perhaps it's a good thing that the focus is soon to be shifted to our good friends across the pond, whatever the outcome.
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