Overview of the prime central London property market 2016
As I look through my resume of 2015, there are so many similar scenarios that occurred in 2016 that it is almost like having the same year again!
In early 2015 the market was subdued, not just by the huge stamp duty increases made at the end of 2014, but also by the lead up to the General Election.
In early 2016 the market was subdued by the uncertainty over what would happen with the Brexit vote! Once we had got over that, the market did its usual thing of quietening down for the summer holidays.
Therefore it is probably not surprising that it was only really in the Autumn that we got back to a “so called” normal market and if the truth be known it wasn’t too bad in the last quarter of 2016. There were some very decent sales achieved in the last quarter and some positive signs in the rental market too. It is still far too early to tell, but the first few weeks of 2017 have continued the last quarter trend of 2016.
However, in an area where most of our sales are a discretionary purchase, the increases in taxation are having a seriously detrimental effect on sales volumes.
The depreciation in the value of sterling one would have thought would have helped enormously, and it has certainly helped a bit, but that does to take away the sting of SDLT and personal taxation changes to the high end buyer.
From the rental market perspective, uncertainty with Brexit and the possibility that some companies may wish to move staff to an EU country has meant that companies are not recruiting at the levels they have done in the past and this has affected tenant numbers.
As is so often the case, in both the sales and rental market, accurate pricing is hugely important if you are to find a buyer or tenant. Over ambitious pricing will leave your property un-sold or un-let. If your property is competitively priced then you have every chance of finding a buyer or tenant.
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Seamus Wylie - Feb 2017