London has been holding its breath for 12 months and the force of the exhalation has been strong and euphoric. Unfortunately the inevitable intake is coming again as we have a “Stability/Emergency Budget” – decide afterwards perhaps – which will make (along with the usual Budget next year and the recent Autumn Statement), three different opportunities for a Chancellor to tinker with your pocket in one calendar year.
Having made some unsavoury promises in an – apparently unnecessary – attempt to woo voters, we can be sure it won’t be good. Any of the euphoria felt by buyers seems to have dissipated in a hardly surprising surge of sellers’ expectation. This always flummoxes me insofar as most who sell do so to buy something bigger. If they expect to sell for more what do they think is going to happen to what they want to buy. Indeed if a seller is trading up, the worst thing they can do is wait.
This is especially true in Prime Central London where we forecast a significant bounce of 20 per cent this year, partly due to the reduced prices over the last year or so, but mostly due to the fact that the world seems less secure than ever and our currency is still relatively weak.
These latter points have far more relevance in the medium term. Indeed for many the panacea of a 10 year stable environment looks likely given that any new Labour administration is clearly going to have to return to the centre ground to get re-elected, and it’s been a long time since we have had that sort of stability.
On the subject of politics, for the umpteenth time those seeking to be elected have banged on about the importance of housing, with pundits even placing it ahead of the economy this time – yet, no surprises, the title of SecState Housing has not appeared. Why, oh why?