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Even free cars and nearly $13K in Uber credit can’t stave off London’s housing market’s “darkest hour”

Oversupply of condos has led to the lowest number of sales in a decade in some areas
January 05, 2019 11:01AM

(Credit: iStock)

London’s previously soaring property market has gone into reverse as Brexit uncertainty looms.

Real estate agents and brokers have signaled that property sales, particularly to foreign buyers, are taking a turn for the worst, and the data is showing a housing market in decline. According to the Wall Street Journal, a boom in development in the lead up to the 2016 Brexit vote has created an oversupply of condos in the city, as potential buyers turn away from the London market.

In the midst of uncertainty, London’s largest office landlords, including Land Securities Group, British Land Co. and Great Portland Estates, are delaying large-scale projects and taking a look-see approach. Others are doubling down on making sales, and have offered creative perks. Developer SAS Investments told the outlet it had sold three $2.5 million apartments by offering a free nearly $23,000 car with the units. More recently, it offered about $12,700 in credit for ride-hailing company Uber.

“I think we are entering what will be the darkest hour for the housing market,” Henry Pryor, a prominent London buying agent, told the Journal.

A survey by real estate data firm LonRes found that two-thirds of brokers believe that uncertainty around the impact of Brexit on the British economy was the primary reason for the market’s reversal, the Journal reported.

Another data firm, Hamptons International found sales volume had dropped 59 percent since a peak in months leading up to the June 2016 Brexit vote.

Citing data from Moliar, the outlet reported just 4,200 units sold in London during the third quarter, while 66,000 were under construction. [WSJ] — David Jeans