In the past month there has been much talk of ‘stagnation’ in Prime London, the impact of the change in stamp duty, and the uncertainty of the upcoming Brexit vote in the popular press. But all is not always as it seems, and these stories may be obscuring the more positive opportunities surrounding prime London property at the moment.

The rise of prime London’s younger areas
According to Property Wire, though some prime property in traditional Central London areas are currently experiencing a slowdown, other ‘emerging markets’ in the capital are picking up the slack. The report notes that though prices in Knightsbridge and South Kensington have fallen recently, newer prime areas such as Islington and City & Fringe are currently performing strongly.

It suggests that while those areas in which falls have been experienced are generally driven mostly by internationally buyers, these new areas are more favoured by domestic buyers, who are less affected by an array of issues of global economic and political uncertainty. Strong performance in these latter areas may also be linked to shortage of supply, and the perception amongst investors that these areas will pay dividends in terms of either rent or sales in future.

“While there has been a lot of negativity on prime London from certain quarters of the media recently, things are very rarely that black and white,” commented Joel Brookes, director of Vanet. “When it comes to property, particularly prime London property, we will always see fluctuations in the market, and areas that are performing better or worse than others. For buyers and investors, paying attention to these geographic fluctuations can present lucrative opportunities.”

If you want to know more about which areas of prime London are currently ‘hot’, or are looking for tips to sell your property, get in touch with Vanet.

A pause in Central Prime London for international buyers?
There’s no doubt that one of the main topics on the mind of European property buyers looking to buy in prime London is June’s referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU. According to the Financial Times, only 9% of prime buyers in central London in the first quarter of 2016 were from EU countries, compared to 29% for the same period last year. When contrasted with the fact that London homes are actually significantly cheaper for European buyers at the moment due to sterling’s performance against the euro, these statistics are even starker.

“Many European buyers are clearly, and quite understandably, awaiting the outcome of the referendum before they buy property in London,” says Vanet’s head of sales and lettings, Paul Bartolo. “There is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the referendum and its immediate aftermath – the economy, the right to remain for European residents after a Brexit, the balance of the property market – and when buying expensive property, investors and homeowners alike desire certainty.

“After the vote takes place on June 23rd, we’re likely to start seeing more movement again, as buyers will have a much clearer view of the lay of the land.”

Could Brexit fuel foreign demand for Prime London?
According to the International Business Times meanwhile, a vote to leave the European Union could actually fuel additional demand for prime London property from overseas buyers. It cites Naomi Heaton, chief executive of one prime London investment fund, who says that, “further currency devaluation should actually increase London’s attractiveness to international investors.”

Several large investment banks, including Goldman Sachs, have predicted that sterling could lose as much as fifth of its value against other global currencies, effectively providing a hefty discount to many overseas buyers investing in prime London property. This in theory could effectively offset the market’s declines in the face of stamp duty increases and other factors.

Prime London property still number one for global luxury
Each year, Christie’s International Real Estate surveys a hundred cities to identify the most luxurious property markets. This year, London took the top spot as the world’s most luxurious property market for the fourth time as many years.

The survey found that London had more luxury property listings than any other city in the world, and it also had the world’s second most expensive residential property sale in 2015, at £92m. This latter figure was however some way behind the most expensive luxury residential sale, which took place in Hong Kong for a substantial £134m. Hong Kong took second place behind London in the list of the world’s most luxurious cities, with New York, Los Angeles and Singapore making up the rest of the top five.

“This comes as no surprise to me at all,” commented Joel Brookes, Vanet’s Director. “Every day we deal with prime London property in key areas of the city, and we’re experiencing a constant demand for properties and intelligence. London has a kind of legendary status as far as global luxury property is concerned.

Looking to buy or sell prime London property? Get in touch with Vanet today.

Sales: Vanet Property Asset Management is a trading name of Countrywide Estate Agents,
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Lettings: Vanet Property Asset Management is a trading name of Countrywide Residential Lettings Limited, Registered Office: Greenwood House, 1st Floor, 91-99 New London Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 0PP.
Registered in England Number 02995024 which is an agent and subsidiary of Countrywide Estate Agents, Registered Office: Greenwood House, 1st Floor, 91-99 New London Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 0PP.

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