Legacy Foresight downgrades growth prediction after Brexit vote

The organisation anticipates the uncertainty caused by Britain's decision to leave the EU will affect charity legacy income

Legacy Foresight has downgraded its projections for legacy market growth over the next five years from 4 per cent to 2.6 per cent because of the economic uncertainty caused by Brexit.

The organisation, which compiles data from the 78 charities that are members of the Legacy Monitor Consortium accounting for more than half of the charity legacy market, said in a statement today that the prevailing economic uncertainty was likely to dampen income growth from legacies over the next few years.

While Legacy Foresight’s latest quarterly data shows that average legacy values reached a record high this quarter, reaching £60,000 for residual legacies and £4,000 for pecuniary legacies, the data does not cover the fallout from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union and the consortium predicts that very different patterns may begin to emerge in future quarters.

It has therefore downgraded the prediction it made this time last year that legacy income would grow by 4 per cent over the next five years.

The latest data shows that combined legacy income rose 10.2 per cent to £1.4bn and legacy notifications rose 5.5 per cent to 52,200 in the 12 months to June.

The year-on-year growth rate is a significant improvement on growth during 2015, when combined legacy income slowed to its lowest level since 2013, rising just 0.8 per cent to £1.29bn.

Legacy Foresight said the past year’s growth was partly down to climbing share prices and a resilient pre-referendum property market in which UK house prices rose by 7.2 per cent in the second quarter of this year. The sharp increase in deaths in the winter of 2014/15 also contributed, it said.

Meg Abdy, director of Legacy Foresight, said: "Once again, the results show strong growth in legacy incomes, thanks to the resilient pre-referendum economy and the fallout from winter 2014/15’s unusually high death rate.

"It will be interesting to see if/how these trends change in the light of the Brexit vote."

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