Nearly three in four property investors think Britain leaving the European Union would make the UK a worse place to invest in property, according to a major new report out today.
Global property adviser CBRE found that investor sentiment has "hardened" against the UK leaving the EU in recent years, with 2016 showing a sharp drop in the number of investors who think a so-called Brexit would make no difference to investment compared to previous years.
In 2015, 33 per cent of investors told CBRE Brexit would make no difference, compared to just 21 per cent who said the same this year.
"According to our recent poll, property investors have, over the past three years, become increasingly gloomy about the impact of the UK leaving the EU," said CBRE head of UK research Miles Gibson. "The UK has experienced record property investment in the last few years and the property investors we surveyed fear that a Brexit would adversely affect the attractiveness of the UK as an inward investment destination."
Researchers at CBRE also said in today's report that they anticipate investors and occupiers will behave in the run-up to the EU referendum on 23 June in the same way as they did in Scotland ahead of the 2014 independence referendum, with most delaying major property-related decisions until after the vote.
CBRE also pointed out that after Scots voted to remain in the UK there was a "catch up" effect witnessed in the property market – and the firm expects a similar pattern immediately after this year's referendum, assuming UK voters decide to remain in the EU.