"People have been shorting and making fortunes today and no doubt they'll be buying property." Post-Brexit property optimism in Hampstead
PUBLISHED: 19:22 24 June 2016 | UPDATED: 10:26 27 June 2016
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Multi-million pound sales to hedge funds, increased asking prices and on the day reductions how has the immediate aftermath of Brexit played out in the Hampstead property market?
Mostly though, local property professionals are reporting a lot of settling dust and predicting mild price adjustments in the Hampstead property market after 52 per cent of British voters opted to leave the EU.
In the aftermath of a result which surprised many Londoners, 60 per cent of whom voted for Remain (75 per cent in Camden), several Hampstead agents reported a fairly subdued and uncertain atmosphere.
But Philip Green of Goldschmidt & Howland said that at the lower end of the local market (between around £750k and £1.5m), deals were agreed or exchanged on today.
“We’ve exchanged on a house in Hampstead Garden Suburb today and we’re agreeing an apartment in Little Venice, both between £750k and £1.5m.
“We’ve even had someone who’s selling a property at the £1.5m level saying they should put their price up today because of what’s happened,” he says.
Aree Rand at Knight Frank also reported a busy day with as many as 12 viewings booked in through the day.
He said: “Every vendor in my team was out doing viewings, which was amazing. There was no cancellation of viewings and not one vendor pulled their property off the market.”
However, he did report a degree of caution from people before handing over cash.
“We were expecting an exchange today, which will now happen over the next 48 hours because the family want to let the dust settle.”
Mr Green also reported some buyers offering to buy today in exchange for discounted sale prices.
This is in contrast to the days leading up to the referendum, when Mr Rand says he sold a £30m home to an international buyer.
Mr Green also reported pre-referendum interest from high end clients.
“We did some fantastic deals on things between £5m and £8m, exchanging yesterday. “The client was a US dollars-based hedge fund, who I presume know very well what they’re doing.
“There is always opportunity, maybe people buying in dollars will see this as a good time to buy.
“People have been shorting and making fortunes today and no doubt they’ll be buying property.”
Nonetheless, all parties agree that in the short term at least, sellers are going to have to accept reduced asking prices of between five and 10 per cent.
“Everyone’s waiting for the dust to settle but people who do decide to sell are going to have to decide what price they’re prepared to accept,” said Jack Malnick at TK International.
“I don’t think anyone here truly expected to wake up this morning and find that we’d left. I think everyone expected that we’d wake up still in the EU and there’d be a roaring trade.
“Mind you, that might still happen because we’ve had a year now where not much has been going on in the market, but people are still getting divorced, they’re still having babies, they’re still downsizing, they still need to move for all those reasons.”
Financial adviser Colin Payne of Chapelgate Private Finance agrees that the core home buyer market in north London should expect little worse than a short term downturn in prices of around five to 10 per cent.
“We’ve had a couple of clients concerned that they are now overpaying for their properties because prices may now fall. We’ve been able to reassure them.
“If people are buying a home to live in it’s for the medium term so, whilst there may be some short term fluctuation, in the medium term and beyond prices are more or less solid.
“Mortgages are much more freely available compared to the 2008 recession when lenders were pulling out of the market. If anything you might see some mortgage rates come down because you may find that banks can get hold of cheaper money.
“There have been a few lenders this week who’ve reduced their rates.”