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Berkeley Group chairman brushes off Brexit threat

Speaking during a Q&A session at an industry gathering for developers, Tony Pidgley suggested London's recent hyper house inflation worried him more than Brexit.

Nigel Lewis

Berkeley Group chairman Tony Pidgley (pictured, above) has brushed off suggestions that Brexit may cause problems for the London housing market regardless of whether it’s hard or soft.

His comments came during a Q&A session at an industry event in central London at which the famously pugnacious developer also suggested that the end of fast-rising house prices in London was more of a challenge than Brexit.

“Of course we’re having difficult days,” he said during the Developers’ Boardroom gathering. “But I see Brexit as a good time to be in the market – why wouldn’t we continue to buy land?

“We’ve been in business for 45 years so we’re not going to pack up because of Brexit.

“We’re still a great city of the world, the British will come through this and we will find an answer. Britain speaks the right international language, is on the right time-line, has the right culture and the world still wants to invest here.”

Unsustainable prices rises

Asked by compere and developer Nicole Bremner (pictured, above) whether the current housing market difficulties were part of a wider structural change, Pidgley said the huge house price increases seen in recent decades were always going to be unsustainable.

“You buy land, build a house on it and blink once and you’ve made £100,000, blink twice and it’s gone up another £100,000 – that was never sustainable – it was high inflation in a zero inflation environment,” he said.

“But there’s nothing wrong with the housing market now other than we’re having a bit of a hard time.”

Pidgley was speaking at the monthly Developers Boardroom dinner networking event in Grace Hall for SME developers, property professionals and investors. The next event is on February 13th.

February 4, 2019

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