A stalling property market over £2m is no longer just anecdotal

Thursday, September 27, 2012 by Ed Mead

It can’t be a coincidence. I spend a fair amount of time each day talking to other agents and because of our geographical location they tend to operate at prices well in excess of £2m. Many are now openly saying that they’re seeing major changes in the top end of the market.


Many reading this probably think that estate agents might well blanche, then whinge, whenever anything threatens their livelihood, and there’s little sympathy for those agents who operate right at the top who’ve been literally coining it in over the last 4 years. But it’s necessary to look a bit more closely because buyers of property are the bellwethers of the wider economy. If buyers draw in their horns it surely means there’s trouble ahead, and buyers of expensive properties in London are certainly very nervous at the moment. Despite an overpowering desire to buy here they’re holding off.


Research figures from leading agents back up the anecdotes with clear evidence of a serious cooling at over £2m, with the more expensive stuff looking arctic. The fact that property just under £2m is making a limp attempt to bolster the shortfall clearly shows that inward investment into London property IS an important part of many an investors portfolio and the fact that more expensive property now seems off the menu to them should be a big stark billboard warning to meddlesome politicians stuck in their Conferences. We'[ve been told the results of the consultation on who will and won't pay Annual Levies and enhanced SDLT will be out in November, but that might be too late, trust is dissipating fast.


The sight of Vince Cable strutting (!) around the stage trying to pretend all rich people are evil is the worst sort of political posturing and given that markets thrive on certainty his faintly ridiculous rhetoric is going to cause a serious loss of money to the capital at a time when it’s sorely needed. With the top 1% of earners paying 25% of ALL income tax frightening them off has got to be the single biggest own goal since Cameron failed to win the last election.