Those seeking certainty in the UK real estate sector may feel more comforted by the recent general election, which has arguably calmed the waters in an otherwise turbulent industry. In the lead up to the election and compared to previous years, it is clear there have been a number of investors and developers adopting the cautious "wait and see" approach in the hope that a strong election result will make their plans worthwhile. This has also been true for overseas residential buyers, who want to be as sure as possible that the UK real estate sector is going to grow in the coming years.
The recent Knight Frank analysis predicts this demand to be released into the market over the course of 2020, with increased activity expected during the first quarter. We aim to be in a position to assist with these transactions in the most efficient manner whilst obtaining the best possible deal for our clients.
One risk for clients that can come with the sudden pressure of putting these plans to fruition now are incomplete or unclear heads of terms. Whilst not legally binding unless expressed otherwise, this is a key document which sets out the agreed terms for a transaction. They need to be unambiguous and thorough, covering all the points required to enable the solicitors to prepare full documents for negotiations to begin. A conflict at this stage in the terms will slow the transaction down whilst parties agree what the real intention was. This can incur further costs should solicitors need to be involved in negotiating the correct position.
Please refer to our useful Heads of Terms Checklist, which shows you which areas to cover. It is also useful to involve your solicitor as early as possible during this process, so any issues can be spotted at this stage.
UK to remain a dominant global destination for commercial real estate investment in 2020