london real estate

London Real Estate



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It’s morning rush hour. And London Bridge is full of commuters heading across the Themes to the city.

Thousands stream into London, making the commute of up to two hours from the outlying areas. Few can afford to live here.

Commuter One: “The cost of living in London are far, far too high. If you want to bring up a family, it’s impossible to do it in London.

Commuter Two: “If you’re looking to buy just yourself, and you wanted to save and live a life in London, then it’s very . . . it’s just impossible, I think.”

Commuter Three: “Well, a house, a two-bedroom house could be 280,000 (pounds) outside of London; it might be double that in here.”

The City: one small area in the heart of London is a leading, global finance center. Property here is some of the most expensive in the world, and some are predicting prices will fall as a result of the Brexit vote, and the impending Brexit.

One brokerage expects a twenty percent (20%) fall in some areas over the coming year.

Estate agent Henry Pryor is sanguine about market jitters: they mean interesting opportunities for the buyers he represents. He says there are plenty of people still looking to buy in London. If prices soften, all the better for them.

Henry Pryor, Realtor: “What’s happened since the referendum with the vote to leave the EU is that sellers have found themselves unable to command the high prices that they were asking on the twenty-third of June then on the twenty-forth of June.

For example, I found a house in Notting Hill that had been on the market for four-and-a-half million pounds (£4.5 million), and we’ve agreed on terms to buy that property, that very same property, for nearly just over £3.5 million, so nearly a million pounds less.”

Corey Askew is also an estate agent. He is selling this four-room apartment. The asking price is one-and-a-half million pounds (£1.5 million). He thinks the predictions of a collapse in the property market are wide off the mark.

He concedes some people did get nervous around the time of the referendum. Three purchasers back out on the deals on the day.

Cory Askew, Realtor, Chestertons: “All three of those properties went back in the market, and all three of those properties were resold before the end of the week — one of them in fact for more money than we had pre-Brexit, so it just goes to show that the reality on the ground, despite some of the headlines out there, the reality on the ground is very different.”

So what’s really going on when some talk of collapse and others of strong demand?

Tim Sankey manages a UK commercial property fund with assets of more than three billion pounds (£3 billion).

After the referendum, some investors sold their shares in the fund. To pay them, Sankey had to sell properties — some at a loss of up to ten percent (10%).

Withdrawals from UK property funds in June alone amounted to 1.4 billion pounds (£1.4 billion). The fear is that the UK could fall into recession.

Tim Sankey, Fund Manager: “The UK property market is driven by the underlying economy. If business, if the economy is doing well, businesses do well, businesses grow and they take on more space, they pay high rents, they grow their businesses, and that’s good for growth in the UK property market.

So equally, if you think the economy might go backwards and go towards a recession or at least slow, then that should be negative. So you can see why investors are concerned, and that’s fair enough.”

The deal the UK and the EU will make on the terms of Brexit will no doubt influence property prices. But the talks have not yet begun and will take years.

For now however, Cory Askey is pretty optimistic.

Cory Askew, Realtor, Chestertons: “The demand is so insatiable for London property, and the supply is so finite, that when you cut out all the hyperbole and all the commentary, the fundamentals are very, very basic: they will never build enough property in London in order to satisfy the demand — the global demand — for London property.”

After a hard day’s work, commuters head back across London Bridge to ride the train home. They are not directly at the mercy of the sizzling London property market.

Commuter Four: “I like the countryside. I don’t like to live in London. I like to have kind of space around me and greenery.”

And so, a long commute is the price many are willing to pay for quieter life in the country.


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1. Most people who work in London also live there. True or false?

2. Is the whole of London, on great, big, financial hub?

3. How does the report describe the current real estate market in London?

4. What have some predicted as a result of the Brexit vote? Does Henry Pryor, the realtor, feels positive, negative or neutral about the brexit vote?

5. Cory Askew, a realtor, believes in news media reports. Is this right or wrong?

6. Does Tim Sankey, Fund Manager think property prices depend more on on Brexit or the British economy?

7. Why is Cory Askew, a realtor, optimistic?


A. How would you describe property prices in your city?

B. Have there been much changes over the years?

C. Would people like to see property prices increase, decrease or remain the same?

D. What will happen in the future?

E. What can or should people do?

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