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Not nervous – yet

“I wouldn’t say nervous, but the property industry is definitely cautious at the moment.”

That’s what one delegate told me this morning.

We were discussing the mood at Mipim 2016 – an event that acts as a pretty good gauge of sentiment in the property industry.

He’s right. Overall the mood is positive, but spark up a conversation with anyone along the Riviera and it won’t be long before that loathed word ‘uncertainty’ is brought up.

And there is a lot to be uncertain about: Brexit; the London mayoral election; the US election race; the Chinese economy.

London and other major UK cities like Manchester and Birmingham definitely have a lot in the pipeline.

The famous London Stand was packed with developers promoting their schemes, and the CEOs of some of the North’s biggest councils seemed upbeat (if a little safe – they have all been on their very best behaviour this week).

“Investors are holding back from taking schemes forward in the UK until they know the outcome of the EU referendum”

But, as another delegate noted to me today as we walked down the very blustery and rainy Croisette: “There’s a lot of waiting.”

I’m told investors are holding back from taking schemes forward in the UK until they know the outcome of the EU referendum.

Another worry from delegates here is the potential ‘domino effect’ that a Brexit would have, with fears that a UK exit could prompt a ‘Frexit’ – “what then?” a delegate asked me.

Add to that the several unknowns mentioned above, and it seems London may no longer be the safe haven for property investors and businesses it once was.

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