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Real Estate -The View From London

13/03/2018, Doha,Qatar

Real Estate -The View From London

 In recent years, there has been a growing Qatari interest in London, with Qataris visiting Britain for tourism, higher education or investment in properties. QIB-UK, based in the heart of London’s Mayfair district, gives an expert view of the real estate market in the UK and London in particular.

The Prime Central London markets are stabilizing, following their recent correction This is also supported by London developers having responded to buyers’ requirements by building and servicing new properties in line with modern international standards. At the same time, the best areas of London are managed in such a way as to ensure that purchasers’ homes will not be de-valued, by poor neighbouhood management.

Prime Central London Starts to Stabilize

The property prices Prime Central London (PCL) are now steadying after it saw a decline that began in Q3 2014, following tax changes. The buyers and sellers are now accepting the new taxes, and international investors are continuing to take advantage of the strengths of their currencies, relative to Sterling.

By the end of 2017, PCL prices were almost flat, falling by only a marginal 0.7%pa, with more areas within PCL reporting growth than at any time since May 2016. PCL properties priced over £5m are outperforming less expensive ones as the wealthy international investors return to London after the market disruptions, that followed tax changes and the Brexit referendum

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Prime London markets outside PCL continued to perform well, during the correction, even when PCL was at its weakest (between 2015 & 2016). These Outer Prime markets are dominated by domestic purchasers, many of whom work in the finance sector. There might be a weakening in the activity levels in some of these markets if purchasers become uncertain about the long term impact of Brexit on the economy and the finance sector in particular.

London Improves the Quality of Prime Central London Homes

These older homes, although luxuriously styled and located, are becoming less attractive to some international purchasers, who are most familiar with modern properties and hotel-like facilities.

Therefore, recently and over the past 15 years, London developers have made great advances in understanding and building what international buyers want. Buildings with facilities and servicing that match the best developments in the leading cities of the world are now available in London.

With moving away from older homes to more modern ones, significant price differences arise. For instance, in Marylebone, the new, high luxury “Chilterns” development sold very quickly, at record prices, during the very worst days of the PCL correction and units in Chelsea Barracks and 20 Grosvenor Square, which enjoy the very best facilities and hotel-quality servicing, are attaining far higher prices than neighbouring, more traditional, prime properties.

How London Maintains the Quality of Neighbourhoods

It is well known that not only what is inside a home influences its long-term value. In many of the world’s most expensive cities, there are areas of prime housing, where the external environments and streets have been allowed to deteriorate, resulting in expensive homes becoming “islands of luxury, in seas of neglect”.

Buyers are protected against such a scenario in most of Central London. Areas like Mayfair, Belgravia, Chelsea, and Knightsbridge are often called the “Golden Postcodes”. This is not only because the homes in them are luxurious. It is ut also because the upkeep of neighbouring properties and streets is scrupulously managed by local authorities and, uniquely in London, private bodies such as Grosvenor Estate, Cadogan Estate, and Howard de Walden Estate. This ensures that the values of homes in these areas, cannot be put at risk by neighbours’ failures to maintain, or properly use their homes. 

The same is true in new large luxury developments, on the River and elsewhere, where management companies ensure that entire projects (including gardens, leisure facilities, and car parking) are maintained to the highest standards.

The Importance of Local Knowledge

There is no single London real estate market, or even, Prime Central London market. London comprises a large number of smaller, distinct sub-markets, within which no two streets or buildings perform identically.

QIB’s London Real Estate specialists have valuable, extensive, local market experience and are ideally situated to assist any Qatari individual or organization during their search for their ideal London property.

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