The Stamp Duty and BREXIT issues that have beset the UK housing market for the last 3 years feel like a walk in the park (no pun intended) when compared to the current economic paralysis.
2020 felt like a new start, a chance to reset the clock and move forward with confidence. Boris was in No. 10, we were entering the negotiation phase of the withdrawal from Europe and people knew the direction that the country was now taking. Prime London values had risen 2% by the end of February, according to Savills; the first positive growth since 2015. At the same time Mortgage approvals were at a 6-year high and we were selling properties faster than we could take them on; a breath of fresh air was sweeping through the residential market.
That wasn’t to say 2020 was going to be straightforward. We still had the EU exit negotiations to contend with. It was always expected that these would generate enormous volatility within both the markets and the investor psyche as the ramifications of each negotiation round was digested and acted upon. However, the key was that the country had an overall direction on the question of European membership and the Prime London housing market was reacting very positively to it.