Interest from buyers in prime London property remains very strong this year, backed up by the fact that activity and viewings have increased since 2012; this despite the recent increase in stamp duty over £2m and the changes to ‘company’ ownership.
Overseas buyers still see London as a ‘safe haven’ for their investment, so whether or not they even desire to live here, they are still confident that their money will be protected against the more global uncertainty out there.
In addition to this uncertainty around the world, the fall in value of the pound has added to the attraction of investing in the UK, as international buyers continue to gain advantage over their domestic equivalent, when purchasing in their own currency. We have seen strong evidence of this since the financial changes in early 2008. At some stages, this saving has been as much as 25%.
This all suggests that more than ever, London has positioned itself away from the rest of the UK housing market and become a separate market in itself. It has become a city in which to ‘park’ your wealth.
However, we must constantly remind our clients that this only applies to the prime areas and for very specific types of property. You only have to look on the web to see that numerous properties ‘stick’, due to over pricing, poor locations or many other factors that only get discovered after considerable wasted time and costs.
In our minds, there has never been a greater need for an experienced, competent and impartial buying agent that will stand by their advice and deliver the right product in line with the client’s brief.