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New UK PM Boris Johnson to buoy Mideast investor confidence

Knight Frank says new 'layer of certainty' in UK political climate will provide confidence for Middle Eastern investors

Boris Johnson, the incoming Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
BBC / PA
Boris Johnson, the incoming Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The appointment of incoming Prime Minister Boris Johnson will provide renewed confidence in the UK’s real estate sector for current and prospective Middle East owners, a senior figure from Knight Frank’s Middle East and Northern Africa (Mena) business said.

In an emailed statement, Henry Faun, head of international project marketing for the Mena region at Knight Frank, said: “Boris Johnson’s appointment as Prime Minister adds a layer of certainty to the current political climate in the UK and this certainty will provide a level of new confidence to Middle Eastern current and prospective owners of real estate in the UK for the future.”

Speaking on the incoming UK Prime Minister, Grainne Gilmore, Knight Frank’s head of UK residential research, added: “[Johnson’s] to-do list may be dominated by Brexit, but addressing the pressing issues in the housing market across the UK will also be key.

“Housing delivery in England needs to rise by 25% to meet the government’s target of 300,000 new homes a year by mid-2020.

"Meanwhile the number of new housing starts peaked in 2016, and nearly half of all local authorities are set to miss their housing targets next year, according to the National Audit Office.”

In the same Knight Frank statement, William Matthews, head of commercial research urged the incoming PM to “prioritise further investment in the UK’s transport and digital infrastructure”.

He explained: “London’s success means that professionals still flock to the capital, despite Brexit, putting the population at an all-time high just shy of 10 million.

"Rail and underground networks are both under strain at peak times.

“We need decisive government backing for Crossrail 2 to deliver more capacity and open up new areas of the capital for regeneration and development.”

Johnson was elected leader of the UK Conservative Party by a large majority on 23 July, 2019, and will become Prime Minister after formally meeting HM The Queen on 24 July.

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Construction Week - Issue 753
Nov 09, 2019