Dring is a one-firm man: he has been at Knight Frank for almost 30 years (and some of his clients have been with him just as long). The firm’s head of international has seen the rise and fall of international wealth, and the varying destinations it has flowed to — from the key markets of Europe to the Caribbean, Asia and the US. It’s here that he has focused
on the most prolific properties, from £15 million upwards.
Dring sees steady business in Europe, despite swelling instability. ‘Of course the currency has changed pretty radically — especially for British buyers,’ he explains. ‘The pound has strengthened somewhat [from its post-referendum trough], so while currency became an issue for a moment, it is now less of an issue.’
Even still, international churn may be giving clients cause to reflect, and buyers are certainly taking their time — but Dring sees a market that’s more attractive than most would have predicted a year ago, as vendors become more active. As Dring says, ‘A good property, well-engaged vendor and reasonable price equals a sale.’
London is no exception, and Dring says the capital remains ‘very high, if not at the top’ of the jet-setter’s wish-list, but he’s seeing greater diversification, particularly among buyers who are already invested in the city.
‘Where perhaps historically someone might have continued to invest and buy multiple properties [in London], they might just reflect on that and say, “America has a stronger economy, strong currency — actually, why wouldn’t I buy in America?” There’s a property man in the White House, after all.’
Dring adds optimistically: ‘One would hope the fact that he likes property would be good for the property market.’