Bar­ratt cuts the price of its ex­pen­sive Lon­don homes House prices a divisive is­sue for Bri­tons

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

LON­DON: Bri­tain’s big­gest house­builder Bar­ratt said it was cut­ting the price of some of its most ex­pen­sive Lon­don homes by up to 10 per­cent in the lat­est sign that the mar­ket has cooled after prop­erty tax in­creases and the Brexit vote. After an ini­tial dip fol­low­ing the June 23 ref­er­en­dum, de­mand for new homes in most of Bri­tain, in­clud­ing outer Lon­don, has bounced back ac­cord­ing to builders and sur­veys, but it re­mains weak in the cap­i­tal’s wealth­i­est cen­tral ar­eas.

The Brexit vote fol­lowed an in­crease in prop­erty tax on buy-to-let and sec­ond homes which par­tic­u­larly af­fected cen­tral Lon­don. Some prospec­tive buy­ers are in­vestors seek­ing a rental in­come and have bought cheaper homes in­stead or pushed for price cuts to off­set higher taxes. “We do rec­og­nize that at price points about 600,000 pounds ($750,009), par­tic­u­larly at price points once you move above 1 mil­lion, the (Lon­don) mar­ket is clearly slower,” Bar­ratt CEO David Thomas told Reuters.

“You are see­ing com­men­tary about prices back­ing off year-on-year on a 5 to 10 per­cent ba­sis so I think that it’s in that sort of or­der,” he added. The vote to leave the EU will con­trib­ute to a 9 per­cent fall in prices in prime cen­tral Lon­don, which in­cludes man­sions and lux­ury apart­ments in Knights­bridge, Not­ting Hill and Chelsea, ac­cord­ing to es­tate agents Sav­ills. Thomas at­trib­uted the soft­en­ing Lon­don mar­ket to more homes com­ing to mar­ket and the in­crease in stamp duty, prop­erty tax, rather than the EU vote.

House prices are key to con­sumer con­fi­dence in Bri­tain, where many gauge the strength of the econ­omy by rises in the value of their most valu­able as­set. How­ever, com­plaints about the af­ford­abil­ity of homes have risen to the top of the po­lit­i­cal agenda. The av­er­age price of houses in Bri­tain is around 220,000 pounds, with many strug­gling to buy, par­tic­u­larly in the cap­i­tal where prices are much higher. While Bri­tain’s largest house­builders have re­ported strong growth in re­cent months, there have been mixed signs on the progress of Bri­tain’s com­mer­cial prop­erty mar­ket, which was first to be hit by Brexit as in­vestors pulled cash from funds.

CANNES: Peo­ple visit the In­ter­na­tional Mar­ket for Re­tail Real Es­tate (MAPIC) yes­ter­day in Cannes, south­east­ern France. The event is held un­til Novem­ber 18, gath­ers thou­sands of re­tail­ers, in­vestors, lo­cal and re­gional au­thor­i­ties, and re­tail prop­erty pro­fes­sion­als from around the world.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.