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A year of contrasts between London and the country

The Country markets have suffered from the fall-out of global economics, with cautious buyers permanently at odds with optimistic sellers, whereas the Central London markets have richly benefitted, with a wall of international investment coming from all corners of the globe.

“The drivers of the two markets could not be more distinct, with the country markets driven by traditional patterns of urban / rural migration and the usual principles of investment, while the London market appears to be primarily driven by the international perception of London as a safe haven.

“London prices have increased over the last 12 months by around 10-15%, with bigger gains in key international areas.  Outside of London, there have been falls of at least 5-10%.

“The outlook for 2012 is not easy to predict and anyone who tries is guessing.

“In London, we expect to see a continued upward trajectory in the super prime areas, while the secondary, more domestic areas are likely to flatten-out.  In the country, there is little reason to expect sudden gains, but we are expecting levels of supply to further contract, because low interest rates and high transaction costs provide little incentive to move.

“The silver lining amongst the dark clouds is that this appears to present an opportunity for those intending to buy in the country, especially those who are also selling in town.”

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