1 February 2019, The Times
By Anne Ashworth
People without the taste for political intrigue may have had enough of conversations about Brexit, but there is an appetite for news about its impact on the housing market, especially for tales of mansions struck by Brexit blight.
A former pub in Mayfair (converted into a residence with a gym and pool) recently fetched £15 million. It had been marketed for £25 million before it was repossessed. Camilla Dell of Black Brick, a buying agency, acquired the house on behalf of clients. Many of the wealthy like to subcontract house-hunting to this species of personal shopper, which may be why they secure advantageous deals.
You should be able to obtain a discount on a new-build property if you target certain developers in the right way. Smaller companies may be more under pressure from their banks.
Outside London and the southeast, requests for price cuts may be less likely to succeed because Brexit has done less harm. Since the referendum in 2016, prices in ten cities in the Midlands, the north, Wales and Scotland, including Edinburgh and Manchester, have appreciated by as much as 16 per cent, according to Zoopla, a property portal.
In this new north-south divide there is one uniting factor. In every area, homes are selling more quickly if the online pictures feature a shot taken at dusk, with welcoming light shining from every window. This response to comforting images, combined with the downbeat tone of Nationwide’s latest survey, suggests that uncertainty may be spreading beyond London and the south. There are buyers around, but they want the reassurance that a home will be a haven in every sense of the word.