A leading buying agency says the Brexit transition deal will help central London’s fragile sales market.
Caspar Harvard-Walls, a partner in the Black Brick buying agency, says Brexit uncertainty has been weighing on the central London property market since the June 2016 referendum - but now, for the first time in approaching two years, there appears some cause for optimism.
Last month the UK and the EU reached a conditional agreement on Brexit, with a transitional period to run from March 29 2019 - the date the UK officially leaves the EU - until the end of 2020.
During that period, EU citizens arriving in the UK will enjoy the same rights as at present, as will UK citizens travelling to the UK; although some issues remain unresolved, the negotiations will now move to the future relations between the UK and the EU after 2020, including on trade.
“We’re now looking at more than two and a half years of business as usual. That’s got to inject some confidence back into the property market” says Harvard-Walls.
“We’re not there yet, but this agreement does move us a lot closer to an ultimate agreement on what the UK’s relationship with the EU will be after Brexit.”
Meanwhile the high-end sales and lettings agency Knight Frank has published its latest edition of its PIRI 100 index, which tracks global urban housing markets.
The winner for 2017 was Guangzhou in China, where prices rose 27.4 per cent, followed by Cape Town at 19.9 per cent and Aspen, in Colorado, up 19.0 per cent.
Four European cities were in the top 10 - Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris and Madrid - but London was a lowly number 72, declining 0.7 per cent. However, this was an improvement on 2016, when it was in 92nd place.
In terms of overall pricing, London is fourth behind Monaco, Hong Kong and New York.
Knight Frank says the outlook for 2018 is that “economic growth will continue to support prices, but performance could be tempered as more central banks start to raise interest rates.”