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ANOTHER FINE MESS

Strong and stable is dead and buried and the minority Conservative government is only a shade preferable to having the man with the magic money tree, slaying the austerity dragon (some believe a fictional character anyway) and building up debts packaged as ‘investment’, which the younger generation will never hope to pay off.  The UK will end up like Greece, but without the sunshine!  Not that debt seems to worry many of the younger generation, who have been brought up in the current low interest rates era, where saving is virtually pointless and the population is encouraged to gorge on cheap debt with minimal interest rates.  This can’t last forever!   Unfortunately, what the current political climate means is that new, bold government initiatives, whether in the real estate sector, or elsewhere are likely to be consigned to the long grass.  Even getting from where we are to somehow achieving a good Brexit deal, however you define that, will take several major miracles, it seems!  Meanwhile, business rates reform was dropped from the revised Queen’s Speech, effectively cancelling the Government’s last Budget initiatives.  As for housing reform, whilst it does get a mention in the revised Queen’s Speech, large parts of the White Paper appear to have been shelved, leaving at best a bit of tinkering, despite the Grenfell tragedy bringing housing to forefront of the political debate.  So, a stuttering UK economy and the inevitable continuing political uncertainty are not conducive to a buoyant property market. Fasten your seat belts, there may be bumpy times ahead! 

Swindon’s property market has had some recent smatterings of good news with the former British Home Stores unit in The Parade (20,000 sq ft) to be let to Wilkos, who will be relocating from Fleetway House in Christmas 2017, releasing 37,000 sq ft of vacant space in Fleet Street to the market.  Swindon’s distribution sector has however had the biggest success with Honda committing to 401,891 sq ft of warehousing next to its plant at South Marston, a major boost to the local commercial property market.

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