Gold, frankincense and myrrh, from Nicolas Van Patrick
In the expanding NVP team we have at least three wise men!
With the season in mind, and looking ahead at 2018, we gathered those minds around the walnut in Montpelier Street to see what we had to offer you, in terms of festive cheer.
There are three main points for investors to be aware of… so you might say this is our gold, frankincense and myrrh:
The £40bn trigger
The sense that at the very least we have a divorce agreement from the EU is easing fears of a ‘no deal’ Brexit. Added to this Tory rebels have now insisted on having a final vote on the bill, helping to ensure that Theresa May is making headway towards an agreeably diluted deal – one that is unlike anything we originally feared. This is great for London property, maybe not in the immediate term while the details are still uncertain, but certainly in the mid-long term, and perhaps before the end of 2018. Obviously the pivotal trade talks are yet to come, however we have noticed a late-year rally as the divorce bill was finally settled, and everyone can see that effectively we are headed for a super-soft Brexit, which will not be too far apart from our super-soft membership… We are going from being a member who never really joined, to a leaver who never really left! This is putting minds at rest. With an agreed divorce settlement, and trade talks allowing, what has been avoided are the two worst-case scenarios: the ‘no-deal’ Brexit and the ‘hard’ Brexit. There has always been a sense that with greater partnership Brexit could be navigable from a business perspective, and thankfully it looks like that partnership may be achievable.
The cheap pound is swaying international buyers off the fence and into action. And while the above news about Brexit should see sterling recover to its true value (that’s providing Bitcoin doesn’t take over the world), you could say this is unlikely for at least the next six-nine months, while uncertainty over the exact details of Brexit remains. What this means is, together with the plateau in prices we have seen since the general election, that anything up to a 5-10% uplift can be had for those converting foreign currency. And while the very top of the market is robust, deals are available properties in the £3-5m price band, due to the length of the plateau we are in. Combined with weak sterling it’s not uncommon for us to see the best deals being done in a decade. It takes a savvy client to take advantage of such opportunities, however with the right advice there are deals to be done.
The Saudi Wave
We are experiencing a wave of interest from the middle-east and especially Saudi Arabia, largely due to the political unrest that is currently playing out across the region. With many of the Saudi’s ruling elite currently under lock and key at the Ritz Carlton, reportedly being asked to hand majority shareholdings to the state, there is an unprecedented climate of uncertainty in what was once the most stable economy in the region. Added to which the new crown prince is rumored to have spent £300m on a palace near Versailles, £500m on a yacht and £450m on a da Vinci… And all since the summer, while preaching austerity!). Many Saudis already have London homes, and even with Brexit threatening the UK’s own stability, London looks more attractive than ever to the middle-eastern buyer… Added to this, NVP is based in the heart of Knightsbridge, just opposite Harrods, and as such we are partners of choice for some of the biggest deals being done in the area. We have seen viewings from middle-eastern buyers spike in recent months and we offer a welcoming, experienced hand to anyone who is threatened by political upheaval, and keen to invest in a safe and secure foothold, in central London.
We’ll be in touch again in early 2018, and between now and then we wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a healthy and prosperous turn of the year.