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Property investors turn against Brexit

Property investors say the UK would be a less attractive place to invest if voters decide to leave the EU, new research shows.

Sentiment has hardened against leaving the EU in recent years, according to a new survey by global property adviser CBRE.

The proportion of respondents who think the UK would be a slightly worse place to invest jumped from 32% in 2014 to 46% in 2016.

Overall, 73% said the UK would be a worse place to invest, up from 69% last year.

The UK will hold a referendum on whether to remain in the EU on 23 June and some have warned that Brexit could knock 5% off house prices

CBRE believes investors and owner-occupiers are likely to behave in the same way as in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, by delaying decisions until after the vote.

After the Scotland referendum there was a catch-up effect and CBRE expects the same for the UK, assuming that it decides to remain in the EU.

Miles Gibson, head of UK research at CBRE, said property investors have become increasingly gloomy about the impact of leaving the EU.

“The UK has experienced record property investment in the last few years and property fear that a Brexit would adversely affect the attractiveness of the UK as an inward investment destination.”

The majority of experts feel that the UK would suffer economically from exit, but estimates of the impact vary substantially.

Most said the UK property market would suffer an adverse "demand shock" were it to vote to leave the EU.

The financial services sector is exposed because of the potential change in the regulatory environment, and in terms of trade with the EU.

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