Latest London Property News – January 2020
As we are all aware, the prime London market has slowed down due to both political and economic uncertainty. The result has been a build-up of good quality buyer demand with very few properties currently available for sale. A significant number of sales were pending the election result. Some sales were substantial – a £65m house sale was reported in Central London to a European family and another house sale at £28m to an international Asian family in North London (both exchanged on Friday immediately after the election result) which demonstrates renewed buyer confidence in the market. We can now expect a greater sense of urgency to the market with more committed buyers, although this may still harden some sellers’ price expectations.
We expect modest price growth in 2020 due to political certainty, however, we can expect some economic uncertainty throughout the course of 2020 until a trade deal is agreed with the EU. Therefore, a bounce in demand at the start of the year is possible, however, this may slow towards the end of the year whilst we agree a trade deal with the EU.
Stamp duty will also be a talking point in 2020 after the Conservative party have proposed an additional 3% surcharge on buyers who are non-resident in the UK. We can expect this to contribute to some urgency for international buyers to transact prior to the change.
International buyers will also be looking to buy whilst sterling is still weak. We expect sterling to strengthen progressively as political and economic becomes clearer. This will be particularly impactful after trade deals are agreed with the EU and other trading partners. This will likely provide a small window of opportunity for international buyers to take advantage of. The strength of the pound will likely be the catalyst for a recovery in prices over the next 5 years.
Sold in December | Portman Square | £4,950,000
Jaffray Estates are proud to have completed on the sale of this 7 bedroom property in an popular art deco block overlooking Portman Square. An extremely complicated sale that involved the sale of a Channel Island company rather than an actual residential property. Altogether this involved 6 offices of solicitors across 3 jurisdictions! After several months both buyer and seller are now extremely happy, as were we to sell this property ahead of our multi agency competitors. This demonstrates that good quality property, well located, and at fair market value will always sell regardless.
Sold in December | Portman Square | £1,500,000
Another complicated sale in this popular block: this apartment was a probate sale held on a mid-term lease requiring complete modernisation. Also included a rare parking space held on a separate lease. A n excellent result for our seller and a very happy buyer to secure a great flat; we were also pleased to sell this ahead of our multi agent competitors.
The Year Ahead
As per the first part of this newsletter we can expect a fragmented 2020 as we overcome the various discussed obstacles. And as always fair market pricing will be imperative in order to achieve sales along with plenty of hard work and professionalism here.