BREXIT !!!

It's a stunner. Britain has voted to leave the EU.  My taxi cab driver thinks it's "good pay back" to the politicians who allowed "foreigners" to come and drive taxis and cut into black taxi revenues.     

The young lady from Romania, who sells coffee in Hyde Park is shaking her head, and telling me how she doesn't know if she will be able to work here any more.  "It's such a confusing situation" she says asking "do you know what will happen now"?

My banker predicts an exodus of financial services employees and before you could say the word "currency" the pound had already declined dramatically.

You will see market letters from the big property agencies trying to paint something positive but the fact is it just isn't good in the short term for the property market.   Certainly not for speculators, certainly not for second home buyers, certainly not for any one looking for short term gains. 

But, for real residents who need homes for their families to live in a safe and prosperous Britain,  it's a buyers market.  That means, the buyer is in the drivers seat for the course of 2016 and perhaps beyond. Prices will  no doubt soften even more but currency drop makes the pound more easy to manage.  And the legal system which guarantees ownership and safe transactions will remain in place.   London is still London.  Britain is still the fifth biggest economy in the World.  But surely it's not the same Country it was the day before the vote to leave the EU.

Housing Prices Rise in UK

Just when you thought UK housing prices would head South, the Office for National Statistics reports house prices in the UK increased by 8.2% year on year in April. London grew 14.5% in the year.  Some analysts say the increases in stamp duty for buy-to-let investors and the upcoming EU referendum had dampened activity on the housing market, but an ongoing supply shortage will likely fuel house prices.  

But clearly the statistics don't reflect some realities in the market such as time on market...many homes are taking longer to sell.  And the larger properties have witnessed countless price reductions to becoming appealing to buyers.

A drop in the pound has also proved to be an advantage to International buyers who continue to see London as a safe legal and stable investment environment. 

Mortgage Rates and Brexit

As the debate rages on Britain remaining in the EU here's a couple of things to think about if your considering a home purchase;

-mortgage rates are extremely low and its a very good time to negotiate with banks

-sellers are very prone to negotiate lower and it's a buyers advantage

-the British Pound has been pushed lower which for an overseas International buyer means a good advantage in currency swap

As people get nervous the bold prevail in the market says the wise investor.

Wimbledon Sale!

We have found one of our clients a lovely home in Wimbledon.  It was completely off market and our client was the first to see it.   It will make a lovely home for them and Lewis London Property was so happy to help them find this exclusive property.  Sale schedule for end of June. 

Referendum...

Most Property Agencies report a robust start to 2016.  Many negotiations took place in the shadow of the looming Spring stamp duty changes in the UK which effect multiple property owners/investors.   Overall the market  in City of London and Eastern fringe are reported up by about 8% on the year.  But prices in Knightsbridge for example, were down almost 7%.  It may be that those areas dominated by investors are slower because of the stamp duty and pending uncertainty of a EU Brexit referendum.   But the Prime Areas for single family home owners who simply need a house to live in are unaffected.  The demand is still high.   And as one banker told me recently "nothing beats property when you have uncertain economies and currencies". 

Clearly though we are witnessing a slow down in pricing in some areas.  Many properties are on the market longer and sales taking place as reduced pricing levels.  That's makes it favourable to the buyer who can in some cases negotiate some very good purchase prices. 

IT'S A BUYERS MARKET

The London Property Market is robust and despite higher stamp duty taxes imposed by the Government it is still one of the best markets in the World.  We are seeing property stay for sale longer than usual.  Sales volumes are down in Central London year on year.   But, it's also a very good time for buyers who can negotiate good prices.    Why do International buyers keep coming to London to buy?   Some come for the the best schools in the World for their children.  Others want to live in the greatest City in Europe.   The currency is stable.  The laws are tested and sound to protect property owners.  The deals are transparent and clean and property still remains one of the best hedges on inflation in this turbulent World of ours.  Call us and let us arrange your next viewing and purchase.  

Wimbledon Property Search...

I have been showing a client in Wimbledon a number of homes.   Most of them have been on the market for months.   But compared to Central London we are seeing great value for money.   Large new well furnished beautiful properties with great spaces including big back yard and decks.  Prices are negotiable and favour the buyer.   It's a good time for buy in Wimbledon and a very good time to shop for a home.

PROPERTY PRICES VS RENTAL

LONDON, April 18 (Reuters) - Asking prices for rental properties in England and Wales have fallen, hit by the introduction of a new tax, but prices in the housing market as a whole have continued their rise, online property listings firm Rightmove   said.

Asking prices for properties typically sought by buy-to-let investors and first-time buyers - with up to two bedrooms - fell by 1.4 percent in the four weeks to April 9.

By contrast, in the market as a whole, prices rose by an average of 1.3 percent, or £3,843, to hit a new record high of £307,033, Rightmove said.

On April 1, Britain added a new surcharge to stamp duty, the tax on buying property, requiring payment of an extra 3 percent for homes bought by investors to be rented out. The government says the aim is to help first-time homebuyers get into a market that has become increasingly dominated by landlord investors.

Some economists have said the new tax risked causing a broader fall in prices in the housing market.

But Rightmove said a rush to buy properties for rent before the deadline had the knock-on effect of driving demand in other areas as owner-occupiers of small homes took advantage of the rise in prices in recent months and sought to trade up.

"Interestingly there has been a stamp duty double-whammy effect pushing up prices in these higher sectors too," Rightmove director Miles Shipside said.

Asking prices in London saw the smallest rise amongst the regions of England and Wales, rising by 0.3 percent from the previous four-week period. Some estate agents reported a shift in interest away from the city and into its suburbs and South East England.