At the end of each year we publish articles in Mews News reviewing the last twelve months and predictions for what to expect over the coming year. To do this we scrutinise information gleaned from dozens of sources including the Land Registry, Rightmove, Lonres, Dataloft, www.gov.co.uk, the press, and of course our own results. The aim being to help our customers make the right decisions in the following year.

This year we realised the futility of doing so. While writing this we are just days away from the 11th December, when the House of Commons will deliver its verdict on Theresa May’s Brexit deal. The way her party is behaving, we have no idea of the outcome so there is little point in describing the possible outcomes of possible outcomes. All markets abhor uncertainty and uncertainty is all we currently have, so it is safe to say that during 2019 the transactions will be between sellers with a need to sell and:

1. Upsizers - This is the perfect market to upsize as the percentage discount you will lose on your sale will be far less than the size of the discount you will gain on your purchase.

2. Long term investors taking advantage of a momentarily depressed market and the weak pound.

3. Ex-pats - have often been priced out of the London market while living abroad. Now they can buy back in, advantageously, with their stronger foreign currency and lack of chains.

4. Gifters - We are seeing an increase in buyers of all ages being financed by relatives wanting to avoid death duties by gifting equity to their children at a time when London is looking cheap.

5. Developers - The Stamp Duty increases ruined developer’s margins for the last few years however, with recent price corrections they are seeing value and are buying again.

6. The contrarian investor. Baron Rothchild made a fortune during and after the Battle of Waterloo which the title of this article reflects. He also announced that “the time to buy is when there is blood on the pavement…even when it is your own”. Given what is going on in the econo-political landscape I would say this is a most apt piece of advice. This is of course a moment in time. It has been reported that the fall in property sales has meant that up to 6,000,000 people are living in the wrong home. Once confidence returns, we should see a surge in transactions from this backlog. It must be remembered that, due to inflation and population pressures, house prices in the capital will always trend upwards with the odd correction when prices get a little ahead of themselves.

Or put more concisely:

In property, what goes down must come up” (James Robinson, 2019)

This article first appeared in Mews News, click here to read the full magazine.

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