We all like certainty, none moreso than the markets and they have had reason to be spooked rather more than usual and have responded accordingly; expect much more in the coming months.
The pound is now around the $1.30 mark, the lowest level since the mid 1980’s and has halved against the Chinese Yuan.
We all want to forget about our Iceland debacle on the Football pitch, but our last major footballing victory in 1966 was when the pound was worth $2.80, so its value has more than halved over the last 50 years, when one pound would buy 11 deutschmarks- the equivalent of €5.50 today. Our exchange rate against the euro is now below €1.20, so we have lost nearly 80% of our currency value against Germany since our brief sporting triumph of which I can remember (just).
We join a rather questionable club of other very weak countries, with even weaker currencies that we thought we would never be members of ….Brazil, Russia, Turkey and South Africa. I hope we regain our Currency gravitas, but it’s a long time coming.
Sterling is also weak against the Euro, well publicised as many wake up to the extra cost of their overseas holidays and more, but the summer holiday on cost is a small drip in the ocean, because consumers will be squeezed by rising import prices and as a nation that over imports, this will feed through to many areas of all our lives before our tans have faded.
Many have said that a weak pound will stimulate exports. A weaker exchange rate promises competitive advantages, in the past we have been able to borrow and “export out of serious problems” but the current situation is one in which the UK finds itself possibly frozen out or at best compromised with its European trading partners and one of its big structural weaknesses, its ballooning current account deficit, suddenly exposed by sterling’s fall, raising questions about our ability to attract capital to help pay down the interest on this chronic debt.
Standard and Poor and Moody’s sounded the bell very recently with a country downgrade, that was akin to Iceland’s Football victory
At Go Develop we know that our many property developer clients are too busy to be bogged down with macro-economic what if’s and given we have such a chronic housing shortage and crisis, they have priorities of building and selling to a busy market, where interest and mortgage rates are set to fall further.
Expect significant lending term correction from most funders over the coming few weeks, in spite of interest rate falls and above all, keep in close contact with many lenders, whose confirmed terms may suddenly be changed; we are seeing it at Go Develop, where many superb developers and their schemes are being let down by other lenders. Fortunately, we don’t have such a policy and through thick and thin, support all our clients, with the principle of what we say we will do, we do.