Monday 13 January 2020 7:54 am

Savills' sales 'resilient' despite Brexit and Hong Kong protests

Estate agent Savills said sales were resilient last year despite political uncertainty related to Brexit, adding that the UK market picked up following Boris Johnson’s election victory.

In a trading update this morning the company said full-year results will be at the upper end of expectations following an “excellent performance” in the UK, growth in the US and the strength of its investment management business.

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Savills said Brexit uncertainty suppressed activity in both the UK commercial and residential markets until the middle of December.

However, the result of the general election “prompted a strong close to the year as confidence to transact returned to the market”, and Savills gained market share in the London residential sector. 

Meanwhile, political unrest in Hong Kong reduced the volume of trading activity from the middle of the year onwards, and is continuing to have an effect, the company said. 

The company’s Asia Pacific business performed below expectations, largely to to the disruption in Hong Kong and also the increased time taken for a recruitment drive in Australia to bear fruit. 

In Continental Europe, the business performed in line with expectations, while the North American unit saw significant growth. Savills Investment Management performed ahead of expectations.

The company said today that increased political stability in the UK “should maintain improved sentiment in real estate markets”. 

However it added that “some caution may remain until the full impact of Brexit is better understood”.

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“Certain other global markets continue to be overshadowed by macro-economic and political uncertainties,” the company said.

“As a result of these factors, at this early stage in the year the board’s expectations for 2020 remain unchanged.”