Post-Brexit, it is about managing investor expectations

There's the Brexit in the perceptions of overseas investors and then there is the reality within London's property market... and right now, it's difficult to merge the two positions.

''Nothing like a downturn is happening in London now,'' said Hugo Thistlethwayte, Director and Head of International Residential (Operations) at Savills. ''But it's a tough sell with investors because their impression is bargains are there for the taking in London.

''For us, that means engaging in more discussions with them to understand their motive to buy — is it long-term safety of their money or something more of a short-term nature. Only the period of negotiations has changed after Brexit.''

Clearly, the final definitive word on what Brexit might mean for London realty is yet to be reached. The bigger consultancies and estate agents have not seen any clear instances of panic-induced selling on the part of existing owners with London property on their books. And there are enough new or regeneration projects that have Middle East investors in their sights.

Savills is showcasing the largest regeneration project London is witnessing — the 8.4 billion pound ''Greenwich Peninsula'' with its aim to build 15,000 plus new homes at a site that includes The (Millennium) Dome.


According to a CBRE report, London is still up there among the top three best-performing cities with property values averaging $734 (Dh2,694) per square foot. (Hong Kong and Singapore came in first and second spots, while Paris was ranked fourth.) And London property still packs in quite a wallop when it comes to the rents it commands. Average monthly rent comes to $2,810 and enough for London to place second among global cities with the highest home rentals, while Singapore tops with $2,960. (Abu Dhabi is third with $2,558.) Brexit is certainly not leading estate agents and consultancies to lower their expectations. Thistlethwayte of Savills states — emphatically — that the firm expects a growth on its London operations for this year and a repeat in 2017 as well.

Meanwhile, Savills has opted to go in for a more ''direct'' presence in its alliance with Core, its partner firm in the UAE. Core UAE has now been branded to ''Core Savills''. It was two years ago the two went in for an association. But the new arrangement stops short of being a joint venture.

''We did think of dropping Core from the name... but retaining it gives a continuity for the UAE operations and something the clients will appreciate,'' said David Goadchaux, CEO of Core Savills UAE.

Find out why more end users are buying luxury

Source: Manoj Nair, Associate Editor, gulfnews.comGN


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