“Friday the 13th” this week brought, in my opinion, excellent new year’s news for the entire UK property market, and especially for the investors who were interested in London, but waited in anticipation. The Conservative party won the parliamentary election majority, gaining the number of seats that has not been seen since Margaret Thatcher in the late 80’s. While counting the votes, the pound hit the highest level against the dollar since last June. This is the first sign of the relief that can be expected in regard to the victory of this party, both for business, and for a more confident status on Brexit.
How will this affect the real estate market? You may have heard from us earlier that the past few years have taken the housing market, especially a luxury segment, in London to a slowdown and a reduction in the number of deals. This happened first because of two purchase tax increases, and then because of the uncertainty after the referendum in 2016. After that, the investors were hampered by the uncertainty about the conditions of leaving the EU and by potential political risks in the event of Corbyn gaining power as a leader of the Labour Party. As a result, all property owners, who did not have an extreme need to sell, did not sell (instead they rented out, just waited or lazily rejected offers at low prices). Most buyers waited for the risks to decrease and more clarity to be gained. At AZ Real Estate we have always believed that London and its elite segment is “eternal”. Although it is impossible to predict the exact date, but we presume the market will rapidly be recovered. So, the pound went up, the tories won a majority in Parliament – maybe this will be a trigger for a transition into a new market cycle and for prices soar. A few hundred foreign investors will be enough for this, because for the property market at a current situation it could mean an increase in prices and a break in the” dam ” of waiting and postponing.
Summary: in my opinion, there is a window of opportunity for a profitable acquisition in Central London at the moment, so I would highly recommend to start a dialogue with me or one of our consultants. This situation will not last longer than a few months. As an example, real estate in Central London was the first asset class to recover after the global financial crisis in 2009.
Alisa Zotimova, director of AZ Real Estate