Are we finally seeing the return of the big spenders?

Super-prime buyers are coming out of the woodwork at last, says Trevor Abrahmsohn

The residential property market above £10million has been pretty ‘cruddy’ of late and I have not wasted a second in telling the ‘Great British Public’ about it. This is despite being frowned upon by my peers for offering too much honesty and therefore ‘spooking’ the public but I can now tell you a little bit of good news and hallelujah for it!

For whatever reason, I know not what, buyers are coming ‘out of the woodwork’ and committing themselves to purchases that hitherto they were not prepared to do.

To be honest, I’m not sure whether anything has changed by way of the historic or prospective economic/political outlook, but it is interesting that ‘wall sitters’ are jumping down and making decisions which previously they were not prepared to do.

It is perfectly true that prices (and perhaps values) have eased by 10-15% in this sector and, maybe, the cognoscenti feel that this is a good enough incentive to induce them to buy.

Whatever the reason we have either agreed or sold some £100million in the last six weeks of trading, which is very encouraging indeed and this is serving to soak up previously unsold property and shortening the supply.

I should note that due to the few transaction over the past year to 18 months, stock levels have risen considerably as buyers have been ‘put off’ by the draconian levels of Stamp Duty and the spectre of Mansion Tax.

This recent movement will not signal any rise in prices but will stabilise levels

There is a feeling out there that even the die hard socialists are moving away from this daft Mansion Tax rhetoric into something more economically plausible which is the expansion of Council Tax Bands.

Danny Alexander talked about this recently and even Ed Balls mentioned this in a recent Evening Standard article, and he is a man not known for his economic pragmatism.

Buyers therefore feel that regardless of the outcome of the next Election there is a greater chance of Council Tax Bands being amended than anything else and this maybe easing their concern about investing in property.

International buyers are still few and far between but London has lost none of its allure and still stands proud as the ‘Greatest City on Earth’ and the ‘happening’ place for commerce, culture, haute cuisine and the Arts.

The Germans would love Berlin to be the fulcrum but they are delusional and Paris will always be a souvenir city rich in heritage but scarce in financial purpose.

This recent movement will not signal any rise in prices but will stabilise levels and that is no bad thing.

Trevor Abrahmsohn is Managing Director of Glentree EstatesTrevor Abrahmsohn
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Image by Ben (CC-BY-SA-2.0)