This month saw the UK hit by the “Beast from the East,” a cold wave of air stemming from Siberia, which swept across Europe bringing unseasonably low temperatures and widespread heavy snowfall. While the weather was frosty, the Brexit negotiations thawed a little. Another small step on the long road to Brexit was achieved, as a transitional agreement was reached in which current trade arrangements will be fixed until the end of 2020. However, we will continue to hear the expression “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” as the full withdrawal agreement is yet to be finalised. The main obstacle to this remains avoiding the need for a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, to which there is still no obvious solution. Despite this uncertainty, the UK economy continues on its path of steady, if unremarkable, growth. The resilience of the wider economy is supporting occupier demand and investor confidence, although there are large sectoral differences. The negative news flow regarding retail has resumed in earnest after a Christmas period that proved less disastrous than feared. At the other end of the spectrum, industrial property is benefitting from a manufacturing sector that is in very good health.
Source : CBRE Global Investors