While other agents are bearish, des Forges saw the market picking up in 2015 despite pre-election woes and Osborne’s changes to non-dom rules.
This is partly due to the city’s appeal to the best of foreign investors, which he says maintains its status quo in property. ‘London remains the number one global city for both overseas and UK-based home owners and investors alike,’ he says. ‘It remains the defensive asset class for the world, and this is unlikely to change despite the increased costs for purchase.’
Despite ongoing issues with the valuation of properties, which slow stock movement, he sees an increase in new builds as developers try to woo buyers. Prime developments in Knightsbridge and Belgravia are a good example of this, des Forges says: ‘These areas are increasingly appealing to buyers who benchmark their homes against the hotels they stay in.’ The contemporary finish and added amenities in the apartments provide ‘a compelling option as an alternative to the aesthetics of the more traditional streets and squares of the area’.
Showing the patience of the long-distance runner he is, des Forges feels 2016 should be the time for the market to find its balance after adjusting to the ‘new world’ of increased transactional costs. Regardless of the industry’s pace, he says the fundamentals are still strong and London residential homes ‘remain the number one goal for many overseas buyers at all levels’.