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16th September 2020 by Hugh Obbard Property Insight 0

Strength in adversity

NEWSLETTER AUTUMN 2020 Strength in adversity Write off the UK property market at your peril, or so it appears. Over the course of the summer there have been some eye-catching reports in the press. The average UK house price now stands at a new high, according to both Halifax and Nationwide’s latest August reports which follow on from HM Land Registry’s most recent figures. What the press is saying… Here are some of the highlights featured in the property press in recent weeks: ‘Rule book rewritten as buyers go on a £37bn summer spending spree,’ according to property portal Rightmove. ‘There is normally a seasonal slowdown in housing market activity over the summer months but not this year.’ House prices ‘are set to hold firm for the remainder of the year,’ predicts Zoopla, despite the onset of a recession and rising unemployment. The portal is standing by its forecast that prices will end 2020 2% or 3% higher than they started it. Resi developer London Square has cheered the best sales performance in its ten-year history, with revenues, completions and profits all up on 2019. Reporting its latest set of annual results, the large-scale operator confirmed it had completed on […]

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9th April 2020 by Hugh Obbard Property Insight 0

Strange market update

NEWSLETTER SPRING 2020 ‘Strange’ market update These are indeed strange, if not scary, times. The papers and news bulletins offer up an endless menu of depressing statistics and heart-breaking stories. A macabre league table of deaths by country and cases of celebrity contractions have replaced the gentle pleasure of checking sports results and daily gossip. After the financial crisis of 2008, we were repeatedly told we were ‘all in this together’, nothing is more true today. With our prime minister in hospital and countless household names displaying symptoms, we will all know of people affected. My sister and her whole family are emerging from contracting Coronavirus and their experience is ‘interesting’ to use a classic understatement (one laid low in a bad way for two weeks, one feeling like death for four days followed by a quick recovery and two with mild symptoms albeit very different in nature). None thankfully needed hospital treatment but all are untested and therefore outside of the statistics. In recognising that there are more important things to address, this is simply a brief report on how we, as a business, are experiencing this challenging environment with a few observations on what others are doing as […]

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30th January 2020 by Hugh Obbard Property Insight 0

Politics finally takes a back seat

NEWSLETTER WINTER 2020 Colour returns to the London property market Maybe, just maybe, we can now stop fixating on politics. Looking back at my missives over the past five years, it’s been the dominant theme that simply could not be ignored. As boring as Brexit became, our political story was able to throw up endless shocks and surprises that caught out all the commentators. Whether it was a Tory/LibDem coalition, the vote for Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn elected leader of the opposition or Boris Johnson’s ‘stonker’ of a majority, there will be few who took the odds on any of those outcomes. The change of mood in the country since 12th December is palpable. Whichever side of whichever political argument you sit, the clarity and direction provided by the 31st January date for leaving the European union and the powerful mandate of an 80-seat majority presents an ability to look towards the future, something that has been lacking for so long. Property comes back into focus The truth is that the UK property market has held up pretty well over these past few years. The broad national house market has shown consistent year on year growth, ending up 2.2% in 2019. […]

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29th March 2019 by Hugh Obbard Property Insight 0

To-morrow, to-morrow, to-morrow

NEWSLETTER SPRING 2019 To-morrow, to-morrow, to-morrow Rather like the quote above from the Scottish play that can’t be mentioned, there is a political situation going on which it is no longer acceptable to be mentioned in polite company. Having planned on putting pen to paper in early March for my market update, I feel horribly naïve that I assumed we would know our future by now. The other nagging worry is that by the time I have finished typing this sentence, something else pivotal or dramatic will have happened, whether this be a resignation, a new party, another vote etc. etc. However, life, to a point, goes on and while the politicians enjoy standing around in their circle of self-destruction, there is a property market to report on.   Down but far from out We are some four and half years on from the market peak for the prime London residential market. Statistics tend to provide a somewhat simplistic overview, equally they are as likely to be used strategically to make a particular case. I dislike using generalisations in such a nuanced market but you simply can’t avoid them. So, in general, prime London prices are somewhere around 15% to […]

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29th November 2018 by Hugh Obbard Property Insight 0

It’s Crunch Time

NEWSLETTER AUTUMN 2018 Welcome to our latest market comment There’s certainly no shortage of topics to discuss as ever. The market is faced with many challenges and the political situation remains extremely uncertain. However, the body may be weak but the pulse has a strong beat. For some we are entering a period to be opportunistic. Crunch time It would be refreshing to look at the UK and its property market outside of the context of Brexit but to do so would be unrealistic. Brexit overshadows all. Over the past two years, the media has been relentless in whipping up the tribal feud between leavers and remainers, only taking time out it seems for a Royal wedding before renewing hostilities. Meanwhile partisan politicians either manoeuvre and scheme or simply speak in bland prepared soundbites as their respective political parties appear to have entered a race to see which implodes and fractures first. It has been a dispiriting thing to watch. However, there is a feeling that the real show is about to start and the tone between Westminster and Brussels is beginning, just maybe, to reflect the reality of a negotiation reaching its conclusion as it enters the 11th hour […]

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