Outlook for 2019
The majority of our searches take us to the boroughs bordering those areas seen as the Prime Central areas of London. As a result, the demand for our service has so far not been affected by the stamp duty changes of recent years. It will come as no surprise, however, that the on-going Brexit negotiations have affected our business with the number of transactions completed in 2018 being cut by half. What clients yearn for is some sort of certainty. Whether it transpires to be a “bad” or “good” Brexit, what the majority of clients want is knowledge of what the “deal” will be – some sort of certainty as to the new political and economic landscape. The past two years have all been about uncertainty and sadly it looks like this is to remain the state of play for some time.
Property prices are reflecting this current uncertain political climate. Reduced prices reflect the decline in active and confident buyers. In our opinion, it is as much of a “buyers’” market as we have seen in recent years. We have, in a lot of cases, been able to negotiate well for our clients. This is what has frustrated us as a company of late; the knowledge we can do well on prices for clients but having fewer who will reap the rewards! 2018 was a better year for us than 2017, however, and we hope that we continue to see an increased demand for our advice in 2019. Savills’ current thinking is that there will be more downward pressure on prices and that the “bounce” in the market will be delayed until 2021 with the general election suppressing growth further until 2022. Despite this, Savills’ have predicted that over the next five years, property prices will increase by 10-15% in prime central London and by 5-10% in London’s other prime markets.
To conclude, it has always been our advice that if you need to buy, to get on and buy but to ensure that what you buy is the “best in class”. That way you are guaranteeing, as much as you can, that your investment will prove a good one.