To help us take a look at what the new year brings for London Property, we have asked back the renowned Independent Property Expert and commentator Ed Mead to impart some of his words of wisdom in the following Guest Blog:
My recent travels carrying the Viewber message have brought me into contact with many agents of differing sizes and hues (some more digital than others). What they ALL say is that the combination of regulation, commercial pressure on fees, tax changes and uncertainty is the worst they’ve known. Even the older heads, like me (!), have rarely seen such gloom, and many experienced 15% interest rates. Inflation used to be the property owner’s friend, and even that’s deserted us – although recent shifts post Brexit might point to a return. But high inflation was accompanied by commensurate interest rates, so if inflation rises so will rates.
The one thing all agents point to as a buffer against this negativity – and most agents are glass half full types – has been interest rates and correspondingly low mortgage rates. It all sounds rather wonderful until you try and get one. Never have brokers deserved their fees more. Knowing what to say to who is more than half the battle these days.
Assuming that one is armed with the right advice, what’s happening out there?
Well, if you’re wealthy and want to buy in London there’s never been a better time…..if owners of large properties have to sell, and can get over the “you sold for WHAT?” jibes from those across the desk at work, then it’s not uncommon to hear of £6-£7m properties selling at nearer £4m…..even then if you’d owned your property for more than ten years you’ll still be doing alright financially but everyone needs to remember they’re buying in the same market they’re selling in – and this top end malaise is affecting everywhere.
Lower down the ranges, below £2m, things are better with a friend having recently put his house on in Dorset, nice views but three offers in the first week was a surprise, the guide price was punchy but WAS below £2m.
Below £1m is still where the action is at, less concern about large capital sums hanging in the breeze and kinder taxation mean it’s all about finding the right place and a lack of choice. Agents are chasing listings so it’s a good time to be selling with, again for the first time in years, the market outside the SE more buoyant.
It’s still a bit early to tell what’s going to happen but watch this space…….