“What does Article 50 mean for the London property market?”

For the past year the capital’s property market has been battered by strong headwinds, with stamp duty rises in April 2016 quickly followed by the EU referendum ‘Leave’ vote in June. The fall in the value of sterling caused by the Brexit result has combined with speculation about Britain’s economic prospects to create a climate of uncertainty that has been challenging for investors.

The triggering of Article 50 has now begun the two-year countdown to Britain’s exit from the European Union. While no-one can, at this stage, predict the outcome of the negotiations, it has certainly dispelled any remaining shred of doubt as to whether “Brexit means Brexit” (to quote PM Theresa May), and the next few months promise to shed more light on the likely direction of negotiations.

With a clearly defined pathway ahead, the country has now entered a new phase: one that will hopefully break down some of the ‘fear factor’ uncertainty that has affected the market up to now. The EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s assurance that the negotiation process will be “friendly and fair” has also offered some comfort to investors who feared a punitive reaction from Europe.

Meanwhile several factors promise to keep the London property market ticking over – or possibly even thriving – throughout the remainder of 2017 and in 2018. Britain’s economy is forecast to grow by 2% this year, and the demand for housing continues to exceed supply. More significantly, the fall in the value of the pound has provided a once-in-a-lifetime, bargain-basement opportunity for serious overseas investors who want to place their money in a democratic country with a powerful judiciary and strong property laws.

Buyers from countries such as China, Singapore, Turkey, Russia and the Middle East have demonstrated their confidence in the strength of the long term London property market by snapping up prime central London properties and homes in up-and-coming areas such as Colindale, Lewisham and Woolwich. This, in turn, has encouraged UK investors - afraid that they may lose out to their overseas counterparts - to return to the market.

While there are some remarkable investment opportunities still available at the moment, the best buys are moving fast. It has never been more important to seek expert advice from professionals with a deep knowledge of London’s developing property hotspots, so call us at Moving City today for up-to-date advice on the capital’s hottest property investments.

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