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  1. Wealth
March 5, 2019

Naomi Heaton

By Rasika Sittamparam

‘I don’t think any area has been Brexit-proof,’ replies Naomi Heaton when asked if there are any safe spots in prime central London post-referendum. ‘All property had to take a discount,’ adds the founder of London Central Portfolio, who is both a property buyer and investment adviser and facilitator. ‘What you find is that the only people who are selling tend to be those who need to sell and therefore are prepared to take a discount.’ The past year has seen some of the lowest ever numbers of transactions recorded and a scenario where ‘the majority within the market are just sitting tight, because they can’. ‘It’s exactly what happened during the credit crunch,’ she observes. The result is a shortage of stock, especially ‘interesting assets’ such as hotels and serviced apartments. Still, London Central Portfolio has at least thrived in the private rental sector, which Heaton says shows ‘no fall-off in demand’ for the firm, which helps HNWs retrieve sizeable margins from their bricks. Clients from South East Asia, Hong Kong, ‘most of the Gulf’, India and South Africa are already showing interest in the first quarter of 2019, Heaton enthuses. ‘I always say that we’re a barometer for the market as a whole,’ she says. ‘If we’re seeing business beginning to pick up, then other people will be finding that too.’

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