Prime central London property sales, as a result of our protracted and inconclusive Brexit negotiations, continue to suffer with turnover levels at its lowest for as long as I can remember.
London still remains the Number One city for all the traditional reasons, and still attracts the wealthiest of the international set. For its architecture and history, its arts and culture, its fashion and craftsmanship, and for its fashion
and diverse cuisine, the lifestyle of central London is the envy of the world. And the areas around Mayfair, Knightsbridge, Belgravia, Chelsea and Kensington, are among the most sought after in the world.
Mounting uncertainty and, of course, stamp duty has flattened market demand and there has also been a shift in buyer demographics, over the past few years. These evolving patterns have changed some of the characteristics in some areas
and the marketing of property has had to reflect this. Realistic pricing is also a critical criteria to achieving a sale.
However, the ‘wait and see’ attitude is likely to prevail till the Brexit outcome is clear. Once there is a direction, and sight of an acceptable deal, then I am certain the market will return strongly and relatively quickly. I also think that prices may well rise and return to something approaching 2014 levels within a year or so.
We have a Knightsbridge Pied a terre, 1000 sq ft, and a huge reception room, which is currently priced at only £1,500 per sq ft, when normally it would have realised £1,800 to £2000 per sq ft. Recent sales achieved include a spacious 5 bedroom modern house in Trevor Place, with lift and 4 car garaging for in excess of £8m. A 3 bedroom house in Cheltenham Terrace, with wonderful views of Duke of York Square was sold to a neighbour for rental.
As I write, prices are down 15%, sterling is down 15% and bank loans are at their lowest rates. There hasn’t been such a strong opportunity for the bold investor, as there is now. So my advice? Hold your nerve, be bold and go forward!
Robert Hobart, Hobart Slater