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Brexit progress will open investment floodgates, says Colliers International 

An end to the current Brexit impasse will “open the floodgates” to a spending spree from businesses in the West of England who are currently delaying investment decisions.  

That was the prediction from Walter Boettcher, director of research and forecasting at global real estate advisor Colliers International, at a series of presentations to business leaders in Bristol.  

During his talk, “Animal Spirits: Investment and the Brexit Transition”, Mr. Boettcher said there were large reserves of cash waiting to be released by businesses pending some certainty on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.  

But he warned that a continued period of uncertainty and delay in Parliament would begin to inflict damage on the region’s economy in the coming months.  

“A resolution to the uncertainty on Brexit one way or another would open the floodgates to an investment surge,” said Walter Boettcher.  

“There is an awful lot of money sitting on the sidelines in the regions and some certainty would bring a tremendous boost to SMEs and supply chain businesses by releasing that pent-up investment. The result could then be a strong economic performance in the second half of 2019.  

“However, the cash reserves that businesses are sitting on could be eroded over time if the current Brexit impasse is dragged out for too much longer.  

“We are not in a bad situation yet but we could start to see problems developing – we have only missed out on the ‘upside’ so far but my fear is that the economy could begin to deteriorate soon.  

“The good news is that Government finances are in better shape now so there is fiscal ‘wiggle room’ to support the economy if there is further delay.” 


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Walter Boettcher

Head of Research and Economics

Research and Forecasting

London - West End

As Head of Research and Economics at global property advisors Colliers based in London, I lead a team of researchers identifying timely research topics and directing research and forecasting outputs. I have 25+ years of UK and European property industry experience and extensive expertise across a wide range of sectors and related industries. I participate regularly in industry panel discussions, but am focused more on direct client engagement with institutions, property companies, banks, and private investors. A regular media commentator, I have a wide range of national publication and broadcast experience. I joined Colliers International in August 2007 after several years at a private property company where I was responsible for managing a mixed portfolio of London residential, retail and office assets. Previously, I worked in a few London property advisory firms, a geodemographic company as well as a few youthful sojourns in the US offshore oil industry, local government and entertainment business. I am an economics graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and received a  PhD from the Faculty of Science at University College London.  I am a member of the London Property Economics Forum and  Society of Property Researchers.

Perhaps best known for my alternative take on property economics and investment, I am a keen proponent of UK regional development and infrastructure investment.

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