It is hard to believe that we are coming to the end of another year here in the West End Office. This will be my 15th Christmas here and as always it is a time for both reflection and for looking forward.
It is hard to believe that we are coming to the end of another year here in Central London. This will be my 15th Christmas here and as always it is a time for both reflection and for looking forward.
I don’t think that anyone at this time last year could have foretold how the year would pan out. It has been an Election Year with a result that few were expecting. The threat of a Mansion Tax evaporated but investor caution has meant that there has been no post-election bounce. Buyers were right to be cautious as instead we have a steeply progressive Stamp Duty, an expanded Capital Gains Tax regime and an additional Stamp Duty on Buy-to-Let properties and second homes. This is on top of the removal of income tax relief on Buy-to-Let mortgages and the reworking of the wear-and-tear allowance. All this from a Government that is supposed to be on the side of the property owning classes. It makes you wonder what the other lot would have done.
We are where we are and The Central London market is pretty resilient. The good news is that the buyers and sellers now seem to be singing from the same carol sheet. Buyers tend to react fairly quickly to any changes in the market, especially negative ones. Vendors sometimes take a little longer and I think that we have now been in this phase long enough for both sides’ expectations to come back more or less into line.
The New Year will bring fresh faces and fresh properties. Both sides will be aware and pre-disposed to operate in the 2016 market and fiscal conditions. As always, we look forward with some excitement to meeting these new challenges.
I like to think that we have more than three wise men (and ladies) in this office and if you want to chat through any aspect of buying, selling, renting or management, please feel free to come in to see us or give us a call on 0207 240 3322.
But before that and whichever star you are following this Season , and to whichever corner of the Globe that it takes you, I wish you a happy, restful and peaceful Christmas.