Keep up to date with the latest news from Downtown International.

Arabian Property Awards

Americans Flexing Dollar Muscles in Prime London Property Market

Whilst there is pressure on local buyers as interest rates and recession fears continue to rise, American buyers are seizing the opportunity to lock in currency savings. Leading broker Knight Frank has reported a substantial increase in US investor activity from a smaller London pied-de-terre or an apartment for student sons or daughters to large country estates. Discounts achieved by Dollar investors are around 20% in Prime Central London compared to a year ago whilst currency and price savings compared to 2014 are in the region of 50%. Similar interest is being shown by Middle East investors who are also benefiting from the currency saving as well as resilient economies thanks to spectacular oil revenues.

Posted by: Kelvin Tayfield, Sun, Oct 2nd 2022

Arabian Property Awards

UK Government Acts Swiftly to Support the Economy and Housing Market

With rising inflation putting pressure on households, new Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng announced a number of tax changes to bolster the UK economy. Top salary earners will benefit from a reduction in the maximum tax rate from 45% to 40% from 2023 whilst the housing market will benefit from a doubling of the minimum stamp duty threshold to £250,000. First time buyers will also benefit as their exemption increases from £300,000 to £425,000. Furthermore, developers are set to benefit from the scrapping of stamp duty in certain redevelopment zones as well as the introduction of a bill to simplify the planning regime and speed up the process for building new infrastructure.

Posted by: Kelvin Tayfield, Sun, Sep 25th 2022

Arabian Property Awards

Severe University Accommodation Crisis in Some UK Cities

UK universities are seeing unprecedented demand for accommodation this year according to a spokesperson for one of the major UK institutions. With many students having deferred their studies last year due to the exceptionally high A-Level results in 2021, most universities are now at capacity levels which has resulted in soaring demand for student accommodation. Both Manchester University and Manchester Metropolitan reported a waiting list of hundreds of students for university halls. The city has a severe lack of alternative student accommodation as Manchester Council has given very few approvals to private developers, preferring to leave this to the universities themselves. This has resulted in many freshers having to commute from neighbouring cities.

Posted by: Kelvin Tayfield, Sun, Sep 18th 2022

Arabian Property Awards

Weak Sterling Presents Buying Opportunity

In a sad week for the UK due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth ll, the British Pound hit a 37 year low against the Dollar due to a combination of Dollar strength and rampant inflation. Incoming Prime Minister, Liz Truss has her work cut out to stem the inflation tide starting with the energy cost crisis as winter looms and most analysts agree the currency will still face some headwinds for the remainder of this year, but the consensus is that it will see improvement from 2023. Savvy investors see this as a buying opportunity for UK property which already has upward pricing pressure due to rising build costs and supply shortages. In particular, GCC investors are taking advantage of the 15% discount their dollar linked currencies are achieving when purchasing British Pounds compared to a year ago.

Posted by: Kelvin Tayfield, Sun, Sep 11th 2022

Arabian Property Awards

City Centre Flats Continue their Comeback

Whilst the pandemic drove many renters to suburban locations, city centre flats are now firmly back in demand as work life returns to normal and landlords are reporting a dramatic rise in rental enquiries to on-line advertising. One-bedroom apartment rents in London are up 13.6% since the start of the pandemic, with inner city units up 33.6% from 12 months ago admittedly after falling during the pandemic. The increase in demand is expected to continue against the backdrop of a 37% fall in available properties in the capital compared to a year ago. In fact, according to research by Hampton’s across the UK there are 66% less homes available than five years ago.

Posted by: Kelvin Tayfield, Sun, Sep 4th 2022