Over the last 18 months, the market across Prime Central London and Surrey has softened significantly. This is the mixed message we hear based on circulating facts and figures, that are often out of date or only reflecting a specific market place. Personally, I feel there is activity in the market today. However, buyers are taking their time to understand values and do not want to be seen over paying or placing a bid which is way off the asking price.
Across all of prime central London and prime Surrey markets, enquiries together with transaction volumes are down. This is due to stamp duty increases, leaving Europe, the US election of Trump, global markets movements and global uncertainty; this will not change overnight.
If the industry wishes to increase transaction volumes, we need to solve today’s underlining problem which is price. Price is key in today’s market; the government is not going to change stamp duty, under Theresa May, the UK will be leaving Europe, Trump with remain in power, we will see the global markets rise and fall over the next couple of years. If an owner wishes to sell within the next two to three years then price is key.
Agents and vendors need to look at the market and understand the “sales” value of their home, basically, the price someone is willing to pay today, not yesterday and not in two years’ time. This value might be below a formal red book valuation or might be below the value of the house next door which sold last year. The important fact is that this is today’s market and all vendors should take this into consideration. Agents need to offer sound realistic advice to their clients and vendors need to listen to what that advice on pricing is, being motivated to sell is all about being realistic at that point in time in that specific market place. If we can get a significant number of people to understand this, then we will see the volume of transactions lift and enhanced activity returning to the market.
Managing Director and founder of Hanover Private Office, Alex Newall is recognised as one of the UK’s top real estate advisors in London and has some of the world’s most affluent individuals as clients.
Harrow-educated Newall has transacted in excess of £1billion worth of client assets and currently advises on a further £2 billion of real estate across Europe.