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Biden win in US Election 2020 – Colliers’ Reaction in the UK


Commenting on the Biden victory in the US election, Dr Walter Boettcher BA, Colliers’ Head of Research and Economics, UK says: 

“From a UK perspective, I do not think that the election outcome changes much in the short-term. I am not convinced that an advantageous trade deal will be immediately forthcoming from a Biden administration. If there are benefits, it will be that Biden re-confirms America’s commitment to globalism and brings China slowly back into the fold. As an open trading economy, the UK will be well positioned to benefit. From a commercial property perspective, the UK will also benefit as the Atlantic Anglosphere seeks new ways to engage with the EU and new business opportunities arise therein. The UK’s traditional role as a bridge to Europe will change but will not disappear and this will support both UK property investment and leasing markets.

“Biden’s victory comes as a no great surprise given the extraordinary voter turnout that is one of the highest in the last 100 years. The expectation that this voter surge was a positive sign for the Democratic Party proved correct. In some respects, and certainly in the short-term, it will be business as usual, as Biden forms a new administration and begins to assess what he understands as the damage that has been done to international relationships over the last four years. Progress will be slow.”

Three key indicators for UK commercial real estate:

  1. International outlook
    International market metrics suggest that this result was largely already priced in. Sterling and the US dollar have moved relatively little and share indices are up slightly as the anticipated failure of the Democrats to win control of the Senate suggests that radical change in fiscal policy is unlikely and that threats to the tech sector may be diminished. Real assets will be buoyed as further US fiscal stimulus is supplemented by QE and accommodative monetary policies that keep interest rates very low, hence further impetus to the international search for yield.  In this context, the UK’s property market metrics are comparatively favourable, especially for long-term investors looking for prime property with reliable income streams. Yield compression was already evident in September and October as cross border investors returned, driving up investment volumes. A new Biden administration is unlikely to change this dynamic.

  2. Trade deal
    A Biden administration is also understood by many to mean that a US/UK trade deal may not be progressed as enthusiastically as by a Trump administration. Given Trump’s ‘America First’ ethos, it is hard to conclude with any certainty that the US would ever have offered a deal that is advantageous and acceptable to the UK, especially given the domestic politization of UK healthcare and food hygiene issues. There is evidence that Biden may also prove to be protectionist and that the price of a deal with the US, political and otherwise, may be too high and the benefits too marginal for the UK. Biden may seek to set up parallel trade deals with both the EU and UK after the terms of UK/EU trade is finalised.

  3. Relations with China
    If there is an upside to a Biden government, it is the possibility of a reconstituted renewal of the US international leadership and a commitment to multilateralism, international agreements and protocols. Wedged as the UK is between East and West, a Biden rapprochement with China could obviate the need for the UK to choose sides. Given the UK’s position as a liberal open economy it stands to benefit from a reinvigoration of global trade and a more benign view of Chinese aspirations. In turn, this could give rise to a renewed Chinese appetite for UK investment at a time when the UK will be looking for large-scale partners to push forward its regional development strategy in what is hoped will be a post-pandemic world.

Dr Walter Boettcher concludes: “Despite its exit from the EU, the UK looks set to remain a bridge to Europe for American companies. The large global technology companies continue plans for further UK expansions in what they see as a gateway hub that already possesses a critical mass of expertise to push their agendas forward.  EU regulatory structures remain fragmented and internal politics too opaque to offer regulatory certainty for many multinational companies. In many ways, as the UK steps back from EU membership, Ireland may find itself well positioned to step forward into the role of an American protagonist in the EU, especially given the ‘special relationship’ that Ireland may have with President Biden. This has repercussions that will reverberate across the Atlantic Anglosphere offering new opportunities for business investment and partnerships.”


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Walter Boettcher

Head of Research and Economics

Research and Forecasting

London - West End

I am the the Chief Economist at global property advisors Colliers International based in London.  I am a research economist identifying timely research topics and directing research and forecasting outputs.

I have over 20 years UK and European property industry experience and extensive expertise across a wide range of property 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 and broadcast experience.

I joined Colliers International in August 2007 after several years at a private property company where he 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 his PhD from the Faculty of Science at University College London.  I am a member of Lambda Alpha International and the 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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Kim Inam

PR Manager

Marketing & Communications

London - West End

I'm a communications professional who has previously worked as a journalist for eight years covering a broad range of topics including politics, crime, health and housing in north London. In recent years I have worked in corporate communications for local authorities across London  and joined Colliers in October 2019, initially providing maternity leave cover.

I provide strategic public relations advice to various business lines within the UK organisation to secure recognition for their work in the property press as well as key target media, and work with our experts to produce thought leadership pieces which are of interest to our clients and colleagues within the commercial real estate sector. In addition, alongside colleagues in the PR and wider communications team, I provide media and social media training for our in-house experts to prepare them for media opportunities and raise their personal brand within the sector.

As well as supporting various teams within the UK business, I also I curate and edit regular content for the blog, which drives credible business leads to our experts.


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