The UK referendum in June 2016 saw the British public vote for Britain to leave the EU after 43 years as a member. This has left many wondering what the economic future of the country will be. London, one of the major financial capitals of the world, is likely to be one of the cities most affected by Brexit. If moving to London, here are some things to consider.
The average price of houses in London has been notoriously high for a number of years, standing at £650,000 in March. This means it is already difficult to access the market, and Brexit throws another cloud of uncertainty over future property prices.
Before the referendum, some argued that house prices would actually drop, with the average London home losing £7500 due to less immigration from the EU and thus less demand. This is, of course speculation, but falling property prices would likely make the property market more accessible. It remains to be seen, however, to what extent immigration will actually be restricted.
One of the major attractions which London offers to potential inhabitants is the vast array of jobs on offer. As a capital city, it hosts some of the largest firms in almost every sector of the job market, making it potentially lucrative to those who work there.
Many of the firms which are based in London, however, have said that they may move operations out of London as a result of Brexit, meaning the number of available jobs in the capital could drop sharply. This may lead to a period of unemployment for many, whilst others may seek alternative ways to make a living, such as trading forex.
Moving from Abroad/EU
One of the main reasons many people voted for Brexit was to restrict immigration from the EU. If the government abides by this, it could be much harder to move to London if you are an EU national. This anti-immigration sentiment, however, is unlikely to be well received by London’s strongly diverse, multicultural population.
It is likely that after Brexit all non-British citizens will need a visa to live in Britain, and so it will be more challenging and time consuming to arrange accommodation. If property and rent prices do fall, many landlords may be discouraged from taking up/continuing their business in the city, making it harder to find a place to rent.
Cost of Living
Like the price of houses in London, the cost of living has also been infamously high, which has discouraged many people from making the move. With businesses potentially moving out of the capital, the cost of living may go down since there will be less incentive for people to move to the city, and thus less demand for products.
Without access to the single market, however, it is likely that many of the items Britain currently imports from the EU will rise in price, making it more expensive to live.
There are too many uncertainties over Brexit to know exactly how London will react when Britain leaves the EU in 2019. Those considering moving will likely want to wait until London’s post Brexit future becomes much clearer.