Prime Property Market in London Set to be Affected Most by Brexit

The prime property market in London is likely to be  affected the most by the referendum results in the UK which will see the country leave the European Union.

Sales activity and price growth in the prime London residential market have already both slowed since the middle of 2014 and in the run up to the historic vote many commentators and experts were predicting that a vote to leave would affect London the most.


‘There is no doubt that the vote in favour of Brexit will generate a period of renewed uncertainty in the prime London residential market. Some demand, especially from investors, will be delayed and in some cases redirected to other markets although the significance of these trends should not be overstated,’ said Liam Bailey of international real estate firm Knight Frank.


He explained that demand for prime London property rests on a wide range of drivers most of which are unaffected by the referendum decision such as the scale of London’s business cluster, depth of skills, education, lifestyle and language.


‘It is not easy to identify an obvious alternative destination for investors despite short term nervousness. On the eve of the vote the pound sat 14% below its mid-2014 peak meaning pricing in the prime market was more attractive for dollar buyers. While a further weakening of the pound could increase inward investment, this impact will be constrained by the fact that around 80% of central London buyers are UK residents,’ he pointed out.


‘It seems a reasonable assumption to make that interest rates will be lower for longer, despite the risk of imported inflation from a weaker pound. While the long term benefit of ultra-low interest rates on the housing market may be questionable, in the short term they will act to underpin demand especially for equity rich buyers with access to the best funding rates,’ he added.


Bailey also believes that the prime country house market will be similarly impacted by the result. ‘However while the market has performed relatively well over recent years, following a slow recovery immediately after the financial crisis, prices have not tracked London to date and there is scope for some outperformance in the short to medium term,’ he said.


‘While we are entering a period of renewed uncertainty in the UK and London market, ongoing issues around EU and especially Eurozone stability, which will be highlighted in the run up to French and German elections, are likely to counter this risk and shore-up London’s safe haven appeal,’ he concluded.


The decision to leave has opened up a Pandora’s Box as far as the London property market is concerned and for overseas buyers, this big and dramatic drop in the value of Sterling will effectively offset the Stamp Duty and tax adjustments and it will make prime London property a lucrative investment for overseas investors bold enough to make a decision to buy despite the market uncertainty, according to Peter Wetherell, chief executive of Wetherell.


‘This is a market for risk takers and people able to spot high risk, but potentially lucrative opportunities that have emerged overnight due to the fluxes in the markets. Dollar based Middle East and Asian investors in particular will now look at short term buying opportunities in the central London property market and look at acquiring residential property priced up to £6 million,’ he said.


He believes that the Prime Minister, Chancellor and Governor of the Bank of England will now need to act boldly and decisively to stop this exit from the EU from potentially leading to a ‘two-speed’ London property market.


‘Now that UK will not be part of the EU in the future then industry construction costs could rise by up to 15% since currently construction materials imported from and exported to the EU are free of duty and taxes. Many site/construction staff working in London are people who originate from countries across the EU the future of all of this will need to be looked at quickly and decisively,’ he pointed out.


He also pointed out that currently some 39% of London’s population of 8.66 million people were not born in the UK. For Mayfair and the West End, some 55% of the market is based on non-EU overseas buyers who are from the Middle East, India, Russia and Africa. The West End is far less reliant on the EU, so he believes it will continue, maybe at a lower volume or maybe at a higher volume, dependent on volatility in local political markets around the world.


But he is predicting that in West London and Inner North London where there are high levels of EU buyers there could now be a dramatic slowdown which could last for a number of years.


‘The end result of this decision to exit the EU could be a two speed London property market with just the core West End, and the periphery continuing to operate but with stagnation across the West, North and East London sectors of the market,’ said Wetherell.


He suggests that in order to protect the long term interests of the London property market the Prime Minister and Chancellor will urgently need to review Stamp Duty and also seriously consider reversals of the various tax changes that have already challenged the central London market over the last few years.


‘After the last global recession overseas investors and London’s developers worked together and should be applauded for finding the resources to continue developments and the success of London. So since it’s been done once before, I have every confidence that the London property market is strong, robust and able to rise to challenges,’ he concluded.


Adam Challis, head of residential research at JLL, also believes that the London housing market will feel the effects of the decision more deeply. ‘The interconnected trading relationship between London and the rest of Europe means the implications are more complex. This will exacerbate the uncertainty for London’s home owners,’ he said.


‘Paradoxically, investors may well identify opportunities in this market over the short term, particularly international purchasers that can benefit from the currency arbitrage that has opened up by a weaker pound sterling,’ he added.


He is also concerned that domestic politics will now be the key risk to the housing market. ‘The UK has a deep housing supply imbalance and concerted attention from politicians to deliver credible, lasting solutions to the supply conundrum is desperately needed. Protracted infighting within the UK’s political parties will only harm the UK economy and any chance of a timely recovery from the expected economic slowdown,’ he added.

The immediate impact is likely to be a fall in housing turnover and a rapid deceleration in house price growth as buyers adopt a wait and see attitude, according to Richard Donnell, director at Hometrack.


He too believes that the impact will be most keenly felt in the London housing market which is fully valued and already facing headwinds. ‘History shows that external shocks can reduce sales volumes by as much as 20% with sales volumes already down over the last year. House price growth is already weak and running in low single digits in central London areas and modest price falls now appear likely in higher value markets as prices adjust in the face of lower sales activity,’ he explained.


‘Even a sharp fall in the Sterling is unlikely to attract overseas buyers in the near term. Across London, where house price growth is running at 13%, we expect the rate of growth to slow rapidly on greater uncertainty and market activity in the capital is set to remain disrupted until consumers and the financial markets can see a clear strategy to manage the process to a position where the outlook for the economy, jobs and mortgage rates becomes clearer,’ he added.


Islay Robinson, chief executive officer of Enness Private Clients, pointed out that as the practicalities of a separation may take years to implement this could leave the market in a limbo state and foreign investors are likely to continue to hold off to see how the UK performs on its own.


‘Those market participants who were waiting for the outcome may continue to stall until the picture is clearer. Prices will depend on how supply is affected by falling foreign investment and continuing domestic demand,’ he said.


‘With just under 50% of central London investors being foreign, we’d expect prices to flatten in the short to medium term. On the other hand, if sterling plummets dramatically, the UK market will become far cheaper for foreign investors, making it a more attractive prospect,’ he explained.


Original article sourced from Property Wire


Golfing Great Greg Norman Lists His Colorado Ranch for $73 Million


Australian golfing great Greg Norman has had another shot at selling his Colorado estate, Seven Lakes Ranch. It’s now listed for $US55 million ($73 million) with Norman flagging he plans to eventually move back to Australia, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Originally listed in 2011, the Colorado property now has the same price tag as his home in Florida, which is also for sale.   

While Norman joked that 55 was his lucky number, he said the “matching prices are a coincidence and were both based on comparable sales in their respective markets”.

The Florida home comes with a putting green and hosted Bill Clinton in 1997 – resulting in a knee injury that required surgery for the then-president. It was also listed back in 2009.

Norman made his first purchase in Colorado in 2000, but soon after bought Seven Lakes Ranch and another adjoining property and joined the three together. The property sits on 4700 hectares and features an eight-bedroom, 1300-square-metre main house.

The property also comes with a fitness centre, skeet shooting course, opportunities for horseback riding, fly fishing and a 1800s dance hall.

Now retired from professional golf, Norman is involved in golf wear, eye wear, wine and beef production, real estate and the recently opened Shark Wake Park. He also helps clubs design golf courses.

Norman recently made headlines for his efforts to save a newborn colt at the ranch on offer.


Original article sourced from Domain News, written by Nicole Frost



Feature Properties of the Month


1404/227 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst


Our sales feature property of the month is the very sleek, 1404/227 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst.

Spectacular 180-degree harbour views taking in the full panorama of the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Royal Botanic Gardens and CBD skyline defines this streamlined luxury apartment originally designed as a 2 bedroom-plus-study. Reconfigured for seamless indoor/outdoor living to a bespoke one-bedroom plus study, the apartment's original floorplan could be reinstated. One of the best vantage points for viewing Sydney's New Year's Eve Fireworks, the apartment occupies the Level 14 north-east corner of Top of the Town, a landmark modernist security building situated in one of Sydney's most sought after cosmopolitan precincts. Designed for effortless living & entertaining, the 130sqm apartment has an ultra spacious living & dining area flowing to a 33sqm (approx.) balcony. First-class luxury finishes include marble bathrooms, built-in cocktail bar (with glass fronted fridge), bespoke TV/video/sound and sophisticated electronic system. Resident facilities include swimming pool (with city views), gym, sauna, 24-hour concierge, building manager, granite/marble foyer, state-of-the-art CCTV monitoring and secure parking.


For more information on this property, please contact James Ball on 0410 740 349 or Shane Scicluna on 0478 818 828.



7 Spicer Street, Woollahra


From our Property Management department, we have chosen the tasteful 7 Spicer Street, Woollahra.

This beautifully presented terrace offers warm and contemporary style living. A stunning contemporary home with dual level layout and a smooth minimalist interior redesign. It features two separate living zones, level access to a stunning entertainer's deck and luxurious accommodation reminiscent of a glamorous boutique hotel. Exclusively located in the stylish village heart, its moments to cafes, galleries and designer boutiques

Rent per week: $1800


For a private inspection or more information, please contact our leasing consultant Christy Nochar on 0424 753 307.



Amazing Design: Sculptural Stairs Take Paddington Home to Another Level


Sometimes one single unifying idea is all it takes to create a memorable moment.

So it was for Sydney owner-architect Annabelle Chapman of Annabelle Chapman Architect recently when renovating her Victorian terrace in Paddington.

In the process of searching for a simple set of stairs that “were sculptural and didn’t take up much space”, she discovered an architectural element that now defines and distinguishes her unique home.



To transform a two-bedroom terrace into a three-bedroom, three-bathroom home, with open-plan living-dining-kitchen spaces opening to a rear deck. With adult children coming and going, each room must offer acoustic and visual privacy. And, the northerly aspect must be maximised.



Annabelle Chapman Architect designed a steel staircase to connect the top four levels at Tathra, Paddington.

Annabelle Chapman Architect designed a steel staircase to connect the top four levels at Tathra, Paddington. Photo: Michael Wee

The house sat in a quiet street in Paddington on a south to north sloping site with rear water views (and painter Margaret Olley’s old studio across the road as an added bonus).

While it was the end terrace in a row of five, six neighbouring terraces backed on to the site’s eastern elevation.

When purchased, it was “the weirdest house”, Chapman says. Substantial internal and external alterations in the early 1970s had resulted in demolition of its original back half and replacement with a “modern” rear wing. In the process, all heritage internal fabric had been removed.

The front half had also been bastardised, resulting in no access to the street-facing first-floor balcony among other oddities.

“There was little of the original house worth saving, apart from the front and side walls. As the adjacent terraces were altered similarly, the rear secondary sections of the house had no historic fabric to reference.”



Chapman’s response was to effectively gut and rebuild the entire front half of the house, apart from the front double-hung windows and the front and side masonry walls, and demolish the rear.

Into this cavity, she inserted and stretched a series of split-level platforms northwards to the views and light, accommodating living and eating downstairs over two levels, with three separate levels of sleeping and bathing above.

Entry from the street is into an open-plan living space, with an unimpeded visual and physical connection to the lower kitchen-dining spaces, outdoor terrace and views.

Simultaneously, your eye is drawn upwards, courtesy of the home’s most defining feature, a steel staircase ribboned skywards to connect the home’s top four levels.

Chapman says the split-level design created a challenging stair scenario, ultimately leading to the creation of this unique feature.

“Steel framed stairs fabricated in Italy were designed to span the width of the terrace while creating a sculptural element to the living room. The stairs extend up a double height stairwell, lit by northern louvred windows, streaming natural light into the centre of the house.”

To the street, all non-sympathetic alterations were removed and traditional detailing reinstated – a flat verandah roof replaced with original bullnose, and concrete roof tiles replaced with slate.

Internally, the material palette was kept simple and clean – timber floors and joinery; exposed concrete floors, walls and ceilings; steel stairs, windows and lighting.


Original article sourced from Domain News, written by Trish Croaker

Local Events


Winter Festival Sydney

The Sydney Winter Festival is returning!

Come along and enjoy the most beautiful winter experience, with great activities and entertainment. From outdoor ice skating to tobogganing down snow slopes, this is the perfect family outing. Held at St Mary’s Cathedral from 30the June – 17th July, you can pre purchase your tickets at



Goodness Me Box Wholefood Dessert Night Markets

All your dessert fantasies are about to come true! On 28th July, Goodness Me Box & The Grounds of Alexandria will host a dessert themed wholefood market. For this one night only event, you can sample healthy doughnuts, raw cakes, and milkshakes as well as take home goodies. The event will also include talk and cooking demonstrations.  Don’t miss out on your tickets at