Tory win ends prime London resi sales stagnation
A landslide Conservative victory at the polls has injected fresh confidence in the prime residential market after a period of stagnation.
Prime central London agents have reported a string of multi-million deals less than 24 hours after the result.
Boutique luxury residential agent Aston Chase confirmed two sales on the morning of Friday 13 December – a £3.85m Marylebone flat and a £4.9m house in St John’s Wood from a British buyer in the US.
Aston Chase founder Mark Pollack said: “These deals are indicative of the renewed confidence in the future of the UK economy following a resounding Conservative victory.
“The market has clearly breathed a huge sigh of relief and I suspect we can now expect a significantly increased volume of transactions in the first quarter of 2020, following the pent up demand that had built up over the last three years.”
He noted that buyer sentiment had begun to pick-up in the run-up to the general election, with another £4.65m transaction, as the polls pointed to a Conservative majority.
Buyers that embraced an element of risk were rewarded with favourable currency rates.
Trevor Abrahmsohn, founder of luxury estate agency Glentree International said he closed one £25m sale prior to the election to an Eastern European buyer and a £28m sale to an Asian buyer the morning of the result.
Abrahmsohn said: “I try to be ahead of the game. I phoned people and said, ‘Listen, what are you waiting for? You’ve got the green light, there has been a seismic change.’
“You have ten years of stable, political, fiscal economic environment, with Brexit now a thing of the past. There is nothing to hold back the economy, the residential property market, it is all systems go.”
Jonathan Vandermolen, chief executive and founder of Vandermolen Real Estate, said the capital is particularly attractive to international buyers right now.
“With the reduction in values and the gain in currency, London now looks cheap,” said Vandermolen.
He also predicted a surge at the lower end of the market, with renewed confidence inspiring buyers across the board.
“For the last quarter,” he added, “there has been a lack of activity where sellers have not wanted to recognise what the market has been telling them their assets are worth and they have been hiding under a Brexit-General Election blanket.”
He said political certainty will now see this move forward, driving sales but not necessarily increased sales values, “as the market is still overpriced”.
Developer London Square said it will look to double its new homes pipeline to £2.6bn following the result, with a goal to deliver up to 1,000 new homes a year.
Chief executive Adam Lawrence said: “This is a time for great optimism and we anticipate a post-Brexit bounce in the market once the uncertainty of the past three years has lifted.
“We will now be pushing ahead for significant investment in the land market off the back of this result the next two years, ready for the pent-up demand that will most certainly emerge.”