2019 saw many buyers waiting for clarity.
Waiting for the Brexit landscape to be clearer, waiting for the pound to move decisively and waiting for a steer on who would be governing the UK. They don’t need to wait much longer.
Historically, fortune hasn’t favoured those waiting on the sidelines, it prefers the bold. Now boldness is very different to wreckless, visiting a casino might be wreckless, acquiring London property in 2020 isn’t, especially when you are advised by someone with your interests at heart (yes, I’m talking about the conflict of interest which arises when a buyer expects the agent acting for the seller to advise them correctly).
As I write this in January 2020, after another busy year (we always prefer buying when others are ‘holding off’ for higher prices and confidence levels,) the Brexit clouds are at last clearing, Mr Johnson has a clear mandate to govern and the pound has recovered 8% from its lows against the dollar. The herd mentality means that ‘boom and bust’ will never, ever leave us, it just depends on where we are in the cycle.
Imagine this for a moment…the will of the people is respected and (regardless of your view) the UK leaves the EU with a deal that is just about acceptable to both sides. Trump unveils massive spending plans in the run up to the US election. Countries around the world compete to offer the most attractive structures and rules to attract capital and far from being bound up in tiresome regulations, we see an easing of banking regulations and the very policies which ensured a relatively stable decade are relaxed.
I predict all of the above will happen and some are already in train at the time of writing. When Sajid Javed, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, said we needed ‘new rules for a new economic era’, he wasn’t talking about prudence.
It’s just business as usual, ‘boom and bust’ and the cycle repeating itself. It isn’t different this time, it’s never different. The only aspect that matters is when you join the party. The only time you shouldn’t buy is when the newspapers are reporting unprecedented buying, that prices are surging and record profits are being made by developers – by then, you are at the end of the cycle and should wait for the inevitable bust which will surely follow.
I believe the next few years will see the second half of the ‘boom’ cycle, during which there will be very strong price increases. I also believe that buying in 2020 will mean that when the ‘bust’ happens, you will still be ahead. After all, if you bought in 2005, your property was still worth more during the depths of the financial crash in 2008 than you paid for it.
London remains one of the greatest cities to work, live and study and the pound at 1.29 against the dollar won’t last forever.
If you are waiting on the sidelines, be brave and get in touch with me, Miranda Ludlam.