Savvy investors have been making bold decisions in downturns for centuries. For me, it seems only natural to buy when the market has hit a low, whether during a recession or in the lead up to a crucial event like a General Election. Contrary to what some think, the property market has not ground to a halt in anticipation of 7 May. The market has certainly shifted, but many of our clients see this period of political uncertainty as an opportunity and seek to make the most of pre-election jitters.
This decision may be made amid a chorus of “you’re crazy to buy now, just wait and see!”, but ultimately investors with gumption tend to have the last laugh. The biggest challenge buyers currently face is the lack of stock, which is where a property acquisition company like Quintessentially comes in; opening doors to off-market properties is our forte.
Other countries do long-term thinking better than we do. Head east and the property market in Hong Kong is facing a great deal of uncertainty. Average prices have more than doubled since 2009 and it is thought that further cooling measures could be introduced to prevent the market overheating. With warnings of a housing bubble, last year saw demand for property in Hong Kong sink to a 23-year low. But are Hong Kong buyers panicking? No they’re not – they are looking to London for opportunities instead, and picking up bargains while we’re busy worrying about the general election.
Whether Chinese nationals or British expats, it’s clear that purchasers abroad are playing a long game. One Hong Kong-based couple from the UK were looking to buy a property in prime central London, initially as a buy-to-let but also as a home should they move back, not to mention as a pension pot and education fund for the children.
When it comes to bricks and mortar, decisions should not be based on short-term price predictions, but life forecasts. Regardless of how uncertain the future may be, there are always opportunities to be had if you know when and where to look for them.
Quintessentially Estates is a global property search and acquisition, management and marketing company. Visit quintessentiallyestates.com for more.
City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.