Europe

US buyers get more bang for their buck in London as election looms

Fall in sterling means average house in London is $62,000 cheaper than a year ago

The plummeting pound and a US election contested by the most unpopular candidates in history has made London an attractive investment opportunity for American buyers.

The cost of the average London house has fallen by 9.2% for buyers from the US in the last 12 months because the value of the pound has fallen from $1.53 to $1.23, making them $62,000 cheaper than they were in October 2015.

This offers Americans the opportunity to escape the election result and bag a bargain in the process, according to analysis by estate agent Stirling Ackroyd.

Republican candidate Donald Trump has a favourability rating of -19 according to the latest poll by ABC and the Washington Post, while Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s favourability rating is -22.

A poll by Morning Consult/Vox of almost 2,000 registered voters revealed that 28% of Americans have at least considered leaving the country if Trump is elected.

Nick Davies, head of residential development at Stirling Ackroyd, said: “For Americans left cursing Clinton or terrified of Trump, it’s worth considering a move to London. The recent fall in the value of the pound against the dollar means there are great deals available in the London market for buyers from across the Atlantic.

“While the capital’s house prices have risen 13% year-on-year for domestic buyers, those using the dollar will find homes in London are almost 10% cheaper than a year ago.”

However, with major US investment banks publicly stating they are contemplating moving jobs back to the States following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, their UK-based workers will see the decline in the pound have the reverse effect if they move home. They will get far less for their money in competitive markets like New York.

Davies added: “While the most senior investment bankers will be able to absorb to costs of moving their job to Wall Street, those on lower incomes may struggle to maintain their standard of living. The fall in the value of the pound may persuade many working in financial services to search for a new job here and stay in London, despite the current uncertainty surrounding Britain’s exit from the European Union.”

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