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The property market was allowed to continue operating during the second lockdown, which was good news for the 500,000 or so current transactions that are proceeding (albeit slowly). However, strict protocols on viewings and valuation appointments continue and many offices are being manned only by a limited number of staff, with working remotely the preferred option. There is no doubt that covid-19 will be looked back on as creating the biggest paradigm shift since the arrival of the internet in... Read More >

Recent Articles:


Sales of existing homes rose 4.3% in October to a 6.85 million seasonally adjusted annual rate. Sales are now up 26.6% from a year ago and are at their highest level since November 2005 (see top of first chart). Sales were up in all four Read More >

I don’t like repeating a story that brings any disrespect to the Beatles, especially one so clearly unlikely as the exchange attributed to John Lennon when asked if Ringo was the best drummer in the world: “He isn’t even the best drummer Read More >

A future with less need to commute is making country life more feasible, and rural estate agents’ phones are ringing off the hook. “At the beginning of the plague, when there was now no more hope but that the whole city would be visited; Read More >

There’s one question above all that, in the real estate industry, we are constantly asked: ‘Is now a good time to put money into property?’ The consensus is, despite the uncertain environment, residential property in particular is still Read More >

Considering that the present crisis is likely to burst inflated bubbles, it’s especially relevant to look at overvalued assets now. The first chart below compares the current housing market in various countries around the world. Using data Read More >

What will be the lasting impact of the stamp duty holiday announced in July by the UK chancellor, Rishi Sunak? The holiday has been great for the vast numbers of purchasers who are acquiring UK properties up to £500,000 in value. The maximum Read More >

With yields averaging 3.35%, the asset category ‘multi-family housing’ is moving out of the ‘alternative’ sector and becoming ‘core’, according to property adviser Savills. Germany, with its disproportionately large rental market, Read More >

German financial analysts are forecasting an increase in property foreclosures of at least 20%, and loan defaults of up to €100bn as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, once the laws introduced on 23rd March to protect borrowers lose Read More >

The last 12 years have seen a myriad of crises in various areas - international relations, climate, economies and, most recently, a global pandemic. Though the economic repercussions of COVID19 haven’t been because of inadequate Read More >

What’s the solution to the great pandemic debt pile-up? Tax Britain’s housing wealth. According to James Kirkup, head of the Social Market Foundation think tank, writing in the Times, higher property taxes are both sensible and inevitable Read More >

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on German real estate began to be quantifiable in April, according to new figures released by property advisor Savills, and based on research provided by Bulwiengesa.  While investors transacted Read More >

Brand matters in agency. A potent brand drives consideration and thus leads; it helps substantiate higher prices or fees as we call them; it acts as a halo during and after the valuation; it helps attract and retain better staff. As the saying Read More >

ARTICLE ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 21ST AUGUST 2017 As I touched upon in my last article, long term out-performance is the principal aim for a residential investor in our era of lower returns. Residential investment is a completely different mindset Read More >

The pandemic affected international real estate markets in strikingly different ways. Markets with stringent lockdowns saw new listings plummet by 90 percent, while other markets saw no change. And as the world begins to recover, the data Read More >

The price level for German residential housing has remained so far unchanged since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, according to German consulting group F+B, whose CEO Bernd Leutner warned it would be wrong to make premature and knee-jerk Read More >

We are starting to appreciate some of the damage that the Covid-19 crisis is doing to the economy but in the western world the first warning lights came when stock markets lurched downwards in late February. In the past 6 weeks There has been Read More >

Germany’s residential market remains buoyant, despite deals taking longer to go through due to an operational slowdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘The market hasn’t stopped yet but deals are getting slower because of the Read More >

We move to cities and we live in small groups when we get there. These two trends, urbanisation and smaller households, are contributing to housing shortages in cities across the world.  The challenge can be met by having the right sort Read More >

The housing sector has potential to unlock a vast amount of political capital for the new Government. With new-found support for the Prime Minister across the country, the housing sector can support Government by delivering a new generation of Read More >

Human psychology can have a big impact on decision-making. We make cognitive errors on a routine basis by using rules of thumb and over-simplifications. We follow stories rather than facts. We are prone to social biases, such as groupthink and Read More >

What do high-net-worth individuals look for in a financial services provider? It’s fair to say that now is an exciting, if challenging, time for the UK financial services sector. The market is moving at a rapid pace as new technologies and Read More >

Political risk factors have put the UK property market on pause, especially in London – but there are rewards to be had Political risk factors have put the UK property market on pause, especially in London – but there are rewards to be Read More >

Against a backdrop of Westminster turmoil, the British economy has proven itself to be more robust than many predicted. But with many expecting a global economic downturn, it’s difficult to quantify the impact the current uncertainty is having Read More >

Tech-driven real estate brokerage Purplebricks released its 2019 results last week. After a failed U.S. expansion, the core U.K. business is still growing and remains profitable, but is facing headwinds in a soft property market. The results Read More >

Proper regulation is needed, while far-reaching leasehold reform must accompany changes to the building safety regime Residential property management is broken and the regulation of managing agents long overdue. Not just from a financial Read More >

With the support of the Atlas Network, CapX is publishing a new series of essays on the theme of Illiberalism in Europe, looking at the different threats to liberal economies and societies across the continent, from populism to Read More >

Earlier this year CapX launched a major new project with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation focusing on how the Government should tackle the longstanding imbalances in the British economy. ‘Rebalancing Britain’ focuses not only on the Read More >

Whilst many of us were baking in in the sunshine on bank holiday Monday, the Berlin Senate cooked up its freeze for residential rents in Germany’s capital. That rocked the sector on Monday, neutered by a dead cat bounce yesterday, and steady Read More >

“So many of the parishes in our district are merrily approving more houses around their village,” an official from Oxfordshire fumed to me last month, “and that’s against Council policy!” I had to pinch myself: living in London, it’s Read More >

Last week saw the long- trailed publication of the Regulation of Property Agents Working Group report, introducing a raft of proposals to regulate sales, letting and leasehold managing agents in what has until now been essentially a collection Read More >

Robert Jenrick, the new Secretary of State for Housing, wrote a striking call in 2017 to boost home ownership by building homes on government land and selling them at cost to the under-40s of that area. In the South East, that could mean a 75% Read More >

Britain’s housing crisis is uniquely severe. We build houses more slowly than anyone else, we have seen a fastest house price rise than any developed country, and our homes are the most expensive houses compared to the average salary. Quite Read More >

A ray of hope for the central London property market The prime central London market has been a tough place over the last year, with a continuing decline in both flats and houses. Against the trend of the past four years, flats in 2018 Read More >

Rumours of the agency’s demise are premature. And even if such disruptors fail, the fortunes they are spending on marketing could change customers’ expectations forever. If you believe everything you read in the media, you could be Read More >

Plus, is the AirBnB boom coming to an end? I write this camping beneath the canvas cover of a tent – a novel experience for me. I should add, though, the healthy caveat that I am glamping. Essentially, a luxurious form of camping. Camping Read More >

Emoov and Countrywide: what a pair, observers might say. They present a tale of two failures - although, in the case of Countrywide, it’s still theoretically possible that victory could be snatched from the actively-snapping jaws of Read More >

An analyst on shares website Motley Fool says Purplebricks is not only in surprisingly strong financial health, but is actually outperforming some longer established bricks-and-mortar agencies. The Motley Fool analyst in question, Karl Read More >

In Berlin, support is growing for a referendum on mass property expropriation. In a move reminiscent of East Germany’s communist past, the referendum’s supporters aim to seize property from all private landlords who own more than 3,000 Read More >

Labour is said to be considering whether the Bank of England should be mandated to limit house price growth. According to The Guardian, this would be done not via interest rates but via mortgage regulation as overseen by the financial policy Read More >

While homeowners will pay a premium for their new build properties, a lower percentage of tenants will not. But does the data agree? In this month’s Market Mover, Gav delves deeper into the inconsistencies we’ve found in the ‘new build’ Read More >

Campaigning groups like Generation Rent and Shelter like to think they are simultaneously edgy and radical; likewise some think tanks believe themselves to be lofty, worldly and above the fray of day-to-day politics. So why, when it comes to Read More >

Source: LonRes What does the chart show? It’s easy to fixate on what’s happening now and block out the – even most recent - past.  And this is never truer than when it comes to the housing market. In prime central London Read More >

Summary:   With the number of BTR developments expected to increase by 180% in the next 6 years, is this a golden opportunity for developers? The REalyst takes a closer look, using the REalyse platform to find potential BTR Read More >

The housing minister describes being stopped in the street by people wanting to thank him for Help to Buy. ‘Several people have stopped me and thanked me for it, because it gives young people access to homes that otherwise they would not Read More >

Last quarter’s reports showed Leeds lagging behind the upward house price curve, while Birmingham and Manchester prices steamed ahead. In this month’s Market Mover, REalyse’s CEO and Statistical Mastermind, Gavriel Merkado, takes a closer Read More >

I keep hearing it said that we should not re-regulate private renting, or if we do then we need to be very careful about it, lest landlords disinvest. This would exacerbate supply issues in places like London, it is claimed. One policy type told Read More >

Daniel Bentley and Alex McCallum, February 2019 Over the past two decades, UK household formation rates have undergone a striking change. After many decades during which the number of households per head of population was rising, since around Read More >

Purplebricks, the online estate agent, was in the headlines last week for all the wrong reasons: shares nose-dived by 40%, revenue forecasts came in short of £35m and management resigned. But could this all have been avoided with the help of Read More >

Tenants have been made to feel somewhat of an afterthought in the rental process ever since the lettings boom of the early 1980s. The business of the UK residential lettings market starts with landlords, who own the “stock” (i.e. the bricks Read More >

It’s popular to group millennials together as one cohesive group and compare like-for-like. But they are a diverse bunch that share as many differences as they do similarities. Where comparisons are useful is in determining how this generation Read More >

Empowered by its economic strength, Germany is one of the most interesting markets for foreign investors, even though its legal system is not based on common law. Having performed a continuous growth within the past ten years, the German Read More >

After many years in the property industry I thought it time to reflect on my experiences and the people I have met. The young estate agent: a raging mess of hormones and conflicting  interests. They talk the market up like a puppy but weep at Read More >

INVESTMENT CONCLUSION The UK housing bubble is a myth. Current price declines are principally function of Brexit-related uncertainty. While you’d have to be mad to buy until this fog lifts, this means there is pent-up demand to stabilise the Read More >

With stamp duty rates crippling the London residential market, many investors have naturally been looking to areas further afield. A lot of articles in the press have focused on regional opportunities as investors seek cheaper areas to expand Read More >

Who will be the winners in the “broken estate agency” market? We know that the current and foreseeable UK macro property market position lacks stability with Brexit, affordability, supply and demand imbalance, knee jerk and short term Read More >

UK real estate transactions being undertaken by GCC investors which we commonly hear about include the acquisition of high end residential property (Chelsea and Knightsbridge) and trophy assets (such as Harrods and the Shard). There is another Read More >

What the journals are saying Knowledge is power, or so the cliché goes. But knowledge is much more than that, it is influence, it is authority, it is credibility. Property journals are a great source of information, by having the latest Read More >

In August, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) published its latest in a line of reports documenting the continued rise in threat to our Green Belts. Our research shows that the threat to England’s Green Belt land has never been Read More >

In my last article, I suggested it was difficult for Housing policy to be considered in any coherent fashion when there had been 16 Housing Ministers in the last 20 years, an average tenure of a little over a year. Within 48 hours of submitting Read More >

When asked by a journalist why she had a mirror above her bed, Mae West answered, ‘to see how I’m doing.’ The same applies to property indices: owners, buyers, lenders and commentators need indices to make sense of what is going on in a Read More >

When asked by a journalist why she had a mirror above her bed, Mae West answered, ‘to see how I’m doing.’ The same applies to property indices: owners, buyers, lenders and commentators need indices to make sense of what is going on in a Read More >

1. What does the draft Finance Bill 2018/19 say about the treatment of UK property held by non-UK residents? From April 2019, gains subsequently arising on any UK property, including commercial and residential property, will be chargeable to Read More >

Affordable housing is one of the key policy challenges of our time. But as with so many other major policy problems, we face a continued lack of imagination that leads many to think that the housing crisis can be solved with more of what worked Read More >

We are now in the longest downturn in the prime London market since the 1988 - 1992 recession. The Savills index showed a decline then of 28% for flats and 16% for houses compared with a fall of 15% for flats and 13% for houses from 2014 until Read More >

Using the long arm of the law to force-fill empty homes is getting very vogueish. From the far left to the Tory back benches everyone seems to be getting on board with the idea. The Government is legislating to permit greater tax surcharges on Read More >

Along with knotted hankies, buttered crumpets and queueing, the concept of leasehold is a quaintly English phenomenon. If in any other circumstance I offered you the opportunity to pay £1 million for something which would decline in value until Read More >

A Commons Committee has – quite seriously – argued that an Englishman’s home should no longer be his castle. You could also describe their proposal as a return of the Star Chamber – where doing something the powers that be didn’t like Read More >

How can we end the housing crisis? Would a better planning system ensure more well-designed homes with local support where they are most wanted, over time making homes more affordable than they would otherwise be? Of course it would. When it Read More >

Looking at the current market there are two key challenges - the first is high Stamp Duty and the second is Brexit. This is important to make clear because I believe that these movements have caused the mentality of the buyer to shift. Read More >

Purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) differs from the student accommodation many of us remember. Today’s students are shunning the traditional house shares and out-of-date halls of residence as they’re perceived to be below par, with Read More >

Last year was interesting in London’s property market, to say the least. It was challenging, with flat or falling prices in many market segments, limited stock, and high transaction costs, dampening activity and making it a true buyer’s Read More >

Someone far more erudite than me once described service charges as being like batteries – no-one likes paying for them, but when you don’t, things cease to function quite quickly. A common source of angst between landlord and leaseholder, Read More >

Though Donald Rumsfeld was much mocked for his ‘known unknowns’ speech, he was right. It’s the ‘unknown unknowns’ that get you when you try to predict the future because, of course, they are unknown. The only thing you can do is look at Read More >

The approach of a new year is always the time when people start to gaze into their crystal balls, highlighting future trends for the year ahead. I have decided to cast the net a considerable bit further and see what trends we should look out for Read More >

Prime central London property has long been seen as an asset class in its own right, rather than simply a costlier version of UK real estate in general. It responds to a separate set of economic and financial developments, services a distinct Read More >

When it comes to selling a property, everyone wants to make the most of what they own, whether it is by giving it a fresh lick of paint or sprucing up the garden. However, for residential tenants of long leases, there may be one further step they Read More >

Just over ten and a half years ago I was working as a land agent specialising complex tax valuations, when I received a call from one of Savills’ head honchos asking me if I would like to go to his house on a Sunday morning for a cup of coffee Read More >

Further to last month’s article I am following this with specific local factors to look out for when investing in residential property. Once you’ve done your homework on the precise area you are targeting and the amount you can invest, Read More >

I, like most people, detest seeing people get ripped off, especially so in the residential property industry. While I am proud to be part of an industry who, through organisations such as the BPF and ULI, genuinely wants to raise standards, Read More >

Should you buy new or used? A mattress – always new. Appliances – new if you can afford it. Furniture – new unless it is a nice antique piece. A home? Who wouldn’t want the brand new, well-proportioned, well-insulated two-bedroom Read More >

In my next few articles, my aim is to guide readers through typical investment decisions and options, hopefully shedding some light on interesting angles and ways to increase your returns. The buy-to-let market is currently a difficult place. Read More >

Ben is a highly regarded residential property investment and development expert. He has a reputation for creating superior investment returns with a considered approach, borne out by the success of his own property portfolio. In this column he Read More >

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