Insight – what does the 2% SDLT surcharge mean for overseas investors?

To no-one’s surprise, there haven’t been petitions or concerted pressure from the public, MPs and trade bodies regarding the introduction of an extra 2% stamp duty surcharge on non-UK buyers from April 1 2021.

The surcharge, announced in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s first Budget last March, was widely expected, although some anticipated it would be higher.

While many operating at the prime end of the property market – where overseas purchasers make up a big chunk of buyers – were unhappy with the introduction of the extra surcharge, there has been no intense lobbying to government to reverse the decision, more of a grudging acceptance.

As mentioned, this isn’t really a surprise when you consider it will mostly be wealthy overseas individuals and companies who will be affected by the change, and public sympathy for such a cause – particularly at this time – would be very low.

That said, it’s not just rich overseas investors who might be impacted by the change. As HMRC concedes in its own policy paper – New rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax for non-UK residents from April 1 2021 – ‘most individuals will be clear as to their residence status for the purposes of SDLT but some individuals with more complex affairs or who have regular periods in and out of the UK may require additional advice and incur additional costs in determining their tax liability’.

What’s more, it adds: ‘Customer experience could be negatively impacted as this measure may create complexity for individuals in establishing the rate at which SDLT is payable on their property purchase. To support, we will produce guidance setting out how individuals can determine their residence status and whether they are entitled to claim a refund.”

“This measure may impact family formation, stability or breakdown by increasing upfront costs for some non-UK residents purchasing a home in England or Northern Ireland. It could affect customer decisions around the type and location of property purchased.”

Expats who have residence or dual-nationality elsewhere, or those who move between countries on a regular basis for work or investment purposes, could find themselves affected. The legislation is likely to prove very technical and nuanced, with some potentially forced to pay the extra stamp duty even when this shouldn’t be the case.

What is being brought in and who is likely to be affected?

The new measure will introduce new rates of stamp duty for buyers of residential property in England and Northern Ireland who are not resident in the UK, and will also affect conveyancers and other professionals who advise on such transactions.

The new rates will be 2% higher than those that apply to purchases made by UK residents, and will apply to purchases of both freehold and leasehold property, as well as increasing SDLT payable on rents on the grant of a new lease. The stamp duty will be on top of the 3% owed on second and buy-to-let homes and the normal rates of stamp duty everyone must pay when purchasing a property in the UK (outside of the current stamp duty holiday, which is set to end on March 31 2021).

Operationally, the measure will apply to land transactions with an effective date of April 1 2021 or later, but where contracts were exchanged prior to March 11 2020 but complete or are substantially performed on or after April 1 2021, transitional rules may apply.

Transitional rules may also apply where a contract is substantially performed on or before March 31 2021 but does not complete until April 1 2021 or later.

As was stated in the Conservative Party’s 2019 manifesto, the revenue raised – previously stated by Sunak to be around £650 million each year – will be put towards tackling rough sleeping, with the main objective of the policy being to make house prices more affordable, ‘helping people get onto and move up the housing ladder in line with wider objectives on homeownership’.

Theresa May first mooted the measure at the Tory Party conference in October 2018, to make it easier for domestic buyers to buy homes that might otherwise go to wealthy individuals or companies from abroad, who then keep them as investments (often known as Buy to Leave) or rent them out at ’inflated’ prices.

Previously, the government pointed to figures which show that 13% of new London homes were bought by non-residents between 2014 and 2016, while it’s also stated that it’s unfair that foreign individuals and companies who do not pay UK tax can buy homes as easily as those who already live here and contribute.

The surcharge introduced in April represents a beefing up of the 1% tax consulted on during Theresa May’s time as Prime Minister, but a slight downgrading of the 3% proposal put forward by the Conservatives during 2019’s election campaign

It was stated that, under those proposals, a wealthy overseas buyer of a £1.5 million home in London would pay £183,750 in stamp duty compared with £93,750 for a Londoner buying the property for their own use.

Brexit has already caused a decline in the number of properties owned by overseas companies in England and Wales, and the future double whammy of Brexit and the 2% surcharge – plus the current travel restrictions caused by Covid – may dissuade overseas investors from investing money into the UK. Equally, some expats who have been living elsewhere and now want to return to the UK may find it much harder to buy without facing increased levels of stamp duty.

We will only know how many people will be affected, and how smooth the system functions, when it has been introduced and has had time to bed in.

There has been no mad rush from overseas investors to purchase homes before the new stamp duty is introduced as of yet. The fact that there will have been more than a year between the announcement of the measure and its implementation has allowed investors plenty of time to prepare, while some suggest it has largely been baked into the market already.

For the prime London market, the pandemic has meant a mixed picture. Astons, an international property and residency consultancy, recently claimed the sold prices of homes in some prime London locations have collapsed by up to 40% during the pandemic, while other prime London postcodes have seen sold prices soar – in one case by 54%.

Knight Frank said at the end of last year that it believed the conclusion of a Brexit deal before the end of the transition period meant that 2021 would see more international buyers in the UK, but that was before Lockdown 3.0 and much tougher border controls and restrictions on travel were introduced. It also seems likely that the extra surcharge will have some kind of dampening effect on the market, as a further deterrent to overseas investment.

How will the market function after the introduction of the 2% surcharge?

Camilla Dell, founder and managing partner of buying agency Black Brick, believes the 2% surcharge for overseas buyers will have some impact.

“It’s unlikely to be the same as we’ve seen before, when typically, stamp duties have been absorbed into the market,” she says.

“There will certainly be some parts of the market that will be more vulnerable to the 2% surcharge from April 1 and will see prices come down in line with the increase. This includes high-density new-builds in secondary/tertiary parts of London which are very much focused on the overseas buyers’ market, for example Battersea Power Station, Canary Wharf and Lillie Square.”

Will the new surcharge along with Covid and Brexit have a dampening impact on overseas investment in Britain moving forward?

“It’s difficult to remember the last time a client asked about what impact Brexit is going to have on the London property market, so we feel this is less of an issue this year,” Dell comments.

“In terms of any impact on pricing, we believe it’s been baked into the market already and prices are unlikely to be affected by Brexit now we’ve left the EU, secured a deal, and established that the hundreds of thousands of people that were predicted to leave the city haven’t.”

She adds: “For our overseas clients, what’s more of a concern to them is the foreign exchange rate and some of that advantage has evaporated for US dollar clients as sterling has strengthened this year.”

In terms of the pandemic, Dell says her clients are not worried about its effect on property prices, ‘it’s more about staying safe on viewings’.

“What we’re seeing is the really serious buyers coming through; gone are the window shoppers, so what we’re seeing are committed and serious domestic and overseas buyers which is really positive,” she continues.

“Despite the current lockdown and new travel restrictions, overseas buyers will still be coming to the UK looking for purchases, including from countries such as the US. The pace at which Black Brick has signed new clients so far this year is extraordinary and a sign that appetite for London property is still strong. Since January 1, Black Brick has acquired six new clients – four from overseas (including the US and Africa) and two from the UK.”


Property market predictions for 2021 – what can we expect?

By Matthew Lane

The property predictions for 2021 continue to roll in, as the sector looks ahead to the upcoming 12 months.

Here, we get the thoughts of leading property developer GRE Assets and leading, independent buying agency Black Brick, on where the market will go next year.

A promising start to 2021

GRE Assets believes that, with pent-up demand after Lockdown 2.0 and promising news surrounding a Covid-19 vaccine, the UK property market should expect an encouraging start in 2021.

Michael El-Kassir, managing director of GRE Assets, which specialises in residential property development and regeneration in strategic locations across the UK and Spain, below explains what the company has experienced in the latter half of 2020 and how he believes this will inform the market as we approach 2021. 

“As 2020 draws to a close, the market is showing continued growth with interest from both buyers and renters in new-build developments located in towns and cities undergoing major regeneration,” he comments.

“This trend directly aligns with our criteria for identifying investment locations which offer affordability, transport connections and ongoing regeneration, as seen in our Ashford and Peterborough projects.”  

He says, with the imposed lockdown restrictions meaning people have spent much more time at home this year, this has led to a distinct rise in the number of people seriously considering their next property move.

“Low interest rates, the existing Help to Buy scheme and stamp duty incentives have also created a sense of urgency,” he adds.  

“The pandemic has been a wake-up call for prospective buyers and renters, who have reassessed their priorities when looking for their next home. Not only are they spurred on to make the leap from London, they also recognise the importance of having access to green space, whether that is nearby parks, balconies, terraces, and gardens.”  

El-Kassir also points to the vast shift in the working world, as employees and companies have adapted (in many cases seamlessly) to working from home.

“While people will return to the office as the latest restrictions ease, we strongly believe businesses will continue to work flexibly moving forward, meaning adaptable

space and connectivity at home is of high importance for new homeowners,” he explains.

“At GRE Assets we pride ourselves on delivering high-quality, well-connected homes which respond to residents’ long-term and short-term needs. Our Riverside Park project in Ashford is a great example of this. The provision of outdoor space, Hyperoptic broadband and space to work from home has proven to be especially popular in 2020, and we are confident this will continue into the new year.”

In particular, he thinks the South East will continue to be one to watch in 2021, with GRE witnessing increased demand and lack of supply in this area post-lockdown.

“While UK-wide we have seen a rise in house prices and activity, it is the South East that really stands out,” he insists.

“The region offers the near-perfect package of high-quality, affordable homes in popular regeneration areas with excellent connectivity to London. Demand here is currently outstripping supply, which is something we intend to continue to address as we head into 2021.”

The company already has properties available in Ashford, and is exploring other opportunities across Kent and the wider South East, to ensure its clients ‘receive the best investment options’.

GRE Assets also anticipates that the recent news of the successful Covid-19 vaccine trials will kickstart a positive wave from house hunters, as people can start to see the end in sight and are, as a consequence, more confident about planning ahead.

“Even though we know the vaccines will not be rolled out to all for a number of months, it is enough to give people the hope they need to start their property searches. The news is likely to provide a green light for people that were previously apprehensive and boost buyer confidence within the market as we move into 2021.”

GRE Assets has a number of key developments in its UK portfolio, including Nene Wharf Apartments in Peterborough, Riverside Park in Ashford, Brighton Marina, City Tower in Reading and One Smithfield Square in Manchester. Additionally, it can point to Brises Diagonal Mar, Bac De Roda and Morales in Barcelona.

As well as its UK operations, the Oxford-based property development and investment company has an ever-expanding international operation, with additional offices in Riyadh, Dubai, Barcelona and Madrid.


Predictions and trends for 2021

Insight – have Asian investors in the UK property market increased?

By Matthew Lane

International investors make up a big chunk of Britain’s second home market, especially in London. Many of these investors hail from the Far East, but how is this Asian demand for property holding up during the coronavirus crisis? Has it even increased in spite of Covid-19 thanks to the capital’s long-established safe haven status?

Here, Property Investor Today checks in with a number of industry experts to find out more.

Conditions remain good for buyers

Caspar Harvard-Walls, partner at leading buying agency Black Brick, says the likely quarantine rules which will see anyone coming into the country needing to isolate for 14 days ‘will, of course, have a very significant impact on the numbers of international buyers coming to the UK in the coming weeks’.

However, he doesn’t believe it will affect those buyers who are thinking of purchasing off-plan. “The combination of a weak pound, motivated developers and an Asian market keen to diversify, may well lead to a surge in the number of Asian buyers looking to invest into UK property,” he adds.

“As the political situation in Hong Kong worsened towards the end of 2019, we saw a significant amount of new clients from that region looking to purchase property in the UK, to ensure that they had a plan if the instability continued,” Harvard-Walls continues.

“Whilst Covid-19 has naturally taken pre-eminence in everyone’s minds over the last few months, it does not mean that the situation in Hong Kong is any better than it was six months ago.”

Once lockdown is eased, Harvard-Walls says it will be very interesting to see whether the protests against Chinese interference restart and, if they do, he says we should expect a wave of Hong Kong dollars being spent on UK property.

Pantazis Therianos, chief executive at real estate investment company Euroterra Capital, which has a particular interest in Prime Central London, says his firm has definitely seen an influx of interest from Asian investors.

“In fact, most of our best offers have come from Asia,” he claims. “There are several factors at play; one of which has to be the current currency exchange rate, and having property which appeals to this audience’s priorities.”

He said Euroterra Capital is known as ‘London’s premier garden square property developer’ with all of its properties sitting close to the capital’s prestigious Royal Parks.

“We are seeing the need for outside space and gardens become increasingly important post-Covid-19,” Therianos adds. “But there is also that fact that the UK offers world-class education opportunities, when [investors are] thinking long-term for their children.”

He concludes: “Generally international investors are after a good deal, and the UK is one of those places for Asian investors, as is the USA, Spain and Italy, for example.”

No increase, but still active

According to Simon Barry, head of new developments at Harrods Estates, there has been no increase in the number of Asian investors.

However, ‘Asian investors have continued to be active in terms of enquiries, offers and interest’, making them the largest single group by region over the past three months.

“Anecdotally, Asian clients have told us that their cultures are more adapted to outbreaks of flu-related diseases and familiar with the precautions needed to halt their spread,” Barry says. “We were surprised when Asian clients were warning us at the beginning of March of the severity of Covid-19, but equally they seem to be more optimistic about the ability of our economies to recover.”

He adds: “We also hear that economic slowdown in China and its knock-on effect through South East Asia is a contributing factor in diverting private investment away from the region.”

Barry says Harrods Estates, which is part of the Harrods Group and has been going strong since 1897, has spoken to several Chinese students – investors and tenants – recently. All of them, he says, assume courses will resume in September and are committed to returning to London.

“Again, they seem to have more confidence in the UK’s ability to contain the virus than many of our own commentators.”

Mimi Capas, head of sales for Aspen at Consort Place, a Far East Consortium (FEC) development, is currently operating out of Hong Kong – so is uniquely well-placed to offer an insight into how the Asian market views London and the UK at present.

“From my position, working in the Hong Kong office of FEC, it’s back to business for many Asian clients. There are a few day-to-day changes such as the way restaurants, coffee shops and cafes are limiting numbers, and Karaoke bars remain closed, but the Asian market has experienced similar viruses before, such as SARS, so there is a pragmatic view regarding economic recovery and a desire to move forward.”

She says that many are still focussed on having investments in Europe, with the UK capital remaining a particularly hot destination.

“London is still seen as a great place to educate children and right now the currency exchange rate is attractive for placing deposits on off-plan new developments such as FEC’s flagship project, Aspen at Consort Place in Canary Wharf.”

She adds, in respect to Aspen at Consort Place, that many Asian buyers ‘get’ Canary Wharf and the way that the district is organised with inter-connecting malls and offices, well-maintained modern apartments in close proximity to each other, and landscaped gardens.

“This translates very clearly with the way that cities such as Hong Kong are organised so there is a familiar appeal,” she concludes.

Property that provides luxury and prestige

Domenica Di Lieto, chief executive of Chinese marketing consultancy Emerging Communications, says for developers and agents pursuing the rising number of residential property buyers from China, it is important to target sales prospects based on what they want to buy.

“At top of the price ladder are the premium and super-premium buyers, who spend typically between £3 million to £5 million, but often much more,” she explains.

These buyers, she adds, are looking for asset diversification – but just as importantly, they want property that provides luxury lifestyle and prestige.

“They may live in the UK, be planning to move or retire here, but properties bought by this demographic are used mainly as a second home, or a place to stay when on frequent business trips,” Di Lieto continues.

“Often a premium property will become home for children to live in full-time, or used for family holidays.”

Just below these premium investors are high net worth families that spend more than £1 million, but less than £3 million.

“They look to buy in London, or surrounding areas, and usually want a home for family use either full-time, or part-time,” Di Lieto says. “However, a substantial number fall into the category of dedicated investor, and it is important to note that all property bought with a view to being occupied personally or by family is also viewed as integral to building diversified investment.”

Next on the list in terms of property price, Di Lieto says, are the families of students and recent graduates studying or working in the UK. They typically seek property under £500,000, but there are notable exceptions to this figure.

“For example, Knight Frank created headlines when it sold a £5 million Centre Point flat to a family who wanted it for use by their daughter studying at University College London,” Di Lieto adds.

Families of students typically buy two-bedroom flats, with one being used by offspring studying at a nearby university, and the other rented out to help with costs.

Second rooms, though, are often kept free for use by visitors, which Chinese students receive from home several times a year. New-builds are preferred due to lower maintenance requirements, and they like flats because they are easier to manage compared to houses – important to owners living in China.

Student-related buys, Di Lieto continues, rarely include houses unless it is at the top end of the market, particularly above the £10 million price range.

The other major Chinese buying group are small-time investors and less sophisticated buyers looking for property that they may one day occupy. Equally, it must perform well as an investment vehicle.

“For these buyers, the top of the price range is usually around £400,000,” Di Lieto says. “Buying criteria is most frequently met in northern cities, particularly Manchester and Liverpool, which after London are the second and third most popular cities for Chinese buyers. Though this profile of buyer may reside at the lower end of the market, they often own several properties, and are frequently opportunists that will extend portfolios at short notice if they see the right opportunity.”

Di Lieto says that, while it’s helpful to understand the key property buying demographics from China, and what they look for, it is important to remember that like individuals everywhere, they are all different with different needs.

“The greatest success in selling to Chinese buyers comes from understanding what properties appeal to which audiences, and targeting them using applicable selling points,” she advises.

“China is the most sophisticated consumer society anywhere, and people are highly pampered in terms of service levels, and marketing communication to match. They do not expect any company from the West to mirror what they are used to at home, but they do expect those trying to sell to them to create dialogue that is relevant, and not part of a mass messaging process.” 

Is coronavirus having an impact on overseas tenant demand and investment?

By Matthew Lane.

Coronavirus – also known as Covid-19 – has had a dramatic impact on the world since the first reported cases in China at the backend of last year.

Since then, it has spread to almost every part of the world, with the lockdown of major cities, cancellation of sporting events and self-quarantining of people showcasing symptoms or returning from the worst-affected areas.

China has had by far the most cases, but Italy, South Korea and Iran have all struggled badly to contain the virus in recent weeks. In Britain, where 115 cases have so far been confirmed, the government recently released a six-point action plan to combat the spread of coronavirus, including calling the army in to help if civilian authorities are struggling to cope, closing schools and advising elderly people – who are most at risk of the virus – to stay away from large social gatherings.

Across the world, from hotels in Tenerife to cruise ships in Japan, the coronavirus has caused panic and consternation.

While the mortality rate is reassuringly low (around 1%), four in five people with the virus only show mild symptoms and those most at risk are the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions, fears have been sparked about the possibility of a global pandemic as the number of cases has soared.

Stock markets have been swinging wildly, regional airline Flybe has collapsed, health bosses have raised concerns about the capacity of health systems to cope with a sudden spike in cases, and there has been talk of major global events such as the Olympics and Euro 2020 being postponed or cancelled to stem the virus.

At the same time, there has been an ongoing battle against disinformation – with myths and falsehoods spreading via social media quicker than public updates can be provided – as world leaders try and disseminate accurate information to their citizens ahead of the half-truths and fake news.

The health crisis has had a noticeable impact on all parts of life, with airlines grounding flights, Airbnb’s profits taking a hit, popular tourist attractions virtually empty and people cancelling holidays and business trips.

It’s affected the property world, too, with March’s flagship MIPIM conference being pushed back to June after a number of high-profile attendees pulled out.

But what impact is it having on tenant demand in the UK from China, the country worst affected by the virus with the bulk of cases and deaths found there?

Megan Wang, Asia Desk Lead at Build to Rent referrals platform Houzen, said: “I deal mostly with Chinese student tenants and applicants, as well as Chinese investors in UK properties, on a daily basis. In the last 2-3 weeks, any kind of processes related to bringing new tenants to the UK are being severely delayed.”

She said people in China are not willing to travel internationally, and many of them have delayed their arrival to the UK to September/October-time, instead of the common summer season.

“There’s still a high demand for property viewings, however we switched in 70% of cases to virtual viewings, by video call and WeChat. Most of the applicants don’t have a problem viewing a property this way and are comfortable making their decision just based on that. In terms of how many people might actually arrive in the UK later in the year, I see a potential for a spike in the number of international students moving to the UK.”

She added: “Some universities lowered their required grades for Chinese applicants, so if the situation with coronavirus gets better soon, we might see an even higher number of incoming students later on. In terms of property sales – it doesn’t look like the usual market is affected yet. However, I did hear about some buyers looking for properties to buy outside of mainland China as a ‘safety home’ in case the situation gets more serious. This is just a very rare comment for now, though.”

Terry Mason, group operations director at rent guarantor service Housing Hand, said the coronavirus remains a worry to all in the lettings market. “At present we have seen very little effect – however, it has the potential to be devastating,” he explained.  

“If the virus spreads and becomes a pandemic around the world, then people coming to the UK needing to rent property will drop dramatically. On the other hand, those from abroad who are already here may not be able to (or wish to) return home – but will they have the means to pay their rent?”

He added: “In the short-term, I think it’s business as usual, with everyone watching the economy for any change in their business income, essential for paying wages. If the virus spreads, we could see businesses unable to pay staff and redundancies leading to many tenants being unable to pay their rent.”

Mason said that, if companies are not hiring or students decide not to travel to the UK for university courses, ‘we would have a huge oversupply of available lets and a whole year of letting upset’.

“I think we are in the balance now; the outcome depends on containment,” Mason concluded. “Currently, the numbers here are extremely low, as is the risk of catching the virus, let alone dying from it, but looking at the worst-case scenario should help people take the necessary steps to help containment.” 

What about overseas investment?

Camilla Dell, managing partner at buying agents Black Brick, said the impact on Prime Central London – where many overseas investors, especially from South East Asia, purchase property – had so far been minimal. 

“Although a fair proportion of PCL homes are bought by HNW international buyers, we haven’t yet had many clients talking to us about the coronavirus,” she said.

“However, with some employers asking staff to self-isolate and work from home, we can predict that home offices will become more popular.”

She added: “We’ve seen a variety of buyers interested in properties with large studies, or serviced executive suites within luxury developments; and this is part of an ongoing trend for people to work more flexibly, aided by increasingly agile technology within the home.”

Hannah Aykroyd, managing director of boutique property advisory firm Aykroyd & Co, said stock markets have dropped (and since slightly recovered) in response to news about the coronavirus, and ‘in general, investors around the world are slightly holding their breath to see how things unfold’.

“At Aykroyd & Co, we have had two foreign buyers ask us to put their searches on hold temporarily due to travel restrictions or concerns about travel restrictions,” she continued. “However, in one case, we solved the problem with a creative approach and carried out a remote purchase.”

“Equally, we have two separate clients in town from Hong Kong who have been here since the news first broke and are using the time to focus on property investment in London. As a result, we are advising on building out a property investment portfolio which we would both acquire and manage for the long-term.”

Aykroyd said it was important to note that ‘neither we nor our clients are worried about the long-term resilience of the London property market, particularly at the top end’.

She claimed PCL residential property has been the best-performing asset class in the world over the past 25 years – through all kinds of crises.

“We are currently in a buying opportunity and this will not change with the outbreak of coronavirus. Savvy investors are well-aware of this.” 


What to expect in 2017

The biggest talking point in 2017 will be triggering Article 50 to begin the process of Britain’s exit from the EU, and what immediate effect this might have on property prices and the value of sterling. We also predict that as new tax changes start to take hold for private landlords in April 2017 we may start to see some landlords sell their properties, but with a low interest rate set to prevail, any wide-scale sell-off will likely be avoided.

In the final few months of 2017, we will start to see the first completions of the former BBC Television Centre, also known as TVC, where we have acquired seven new apartments for clients. While we wouldn’t always recommend our clients buy new-builds, we have been big advocates of TVC owing to the fact that the development is part of the wider regeneration of the White City area.

It ticks a lot of boxes in terms of what we look for when advising clients. These include proximity to fantastic transport links [Wood Lane and White City tube stations are on the doorstep], Westfield, which is also undergoing a John Lewis expansion and will become one of Europe’s largest shopping centres, and Imperial College is creating a major new campus at White City, including more than 2 million sq ft of new offices and restaurants.

The development itself will also be home to a Soho House hotel and private members’ club, a 20,000 sq ft gym and spa run by Cow Shed, and at some point in 2017 the BBC will resume making television programmes on the site having vacated temporarily to allow the redevelopment to take place. Clients of ours who bought into the scheme in early 2015 have already seen a 10% uplift in the value, and we are encouraged by the fact than unlike a lot of other new-builds, there is so far very little evidence of buyers trying to sell on their contracts before completion. I think a lot of people are buying into a new lifestyle and as such see these investments as a long-term hold.

In terms of other London neighbourhoods to look out for, Tottenham is increasingly popular at the moment as first-time buyers and investors seek value. The area is also very well connected, being on the Victoria line and with a station on Crossrail 2 planned for Tottenham Hale. According to Rightmove, sold prices in Tottenham Hale in 2016 were 14% up on the previous year and 50% up on 2013, when the average house price there was £229,063.

Haringey Council has committed to building 10,000 new homes and providing 5,000 new jobs in the area by 2025, and has secured more than £1 billion of investment. More than 1,100 affordable and private homes plus student accommodation have been built at Hale Village, two new schools are planned, while Tottenham University Technical College opened at the end of 2014.

For design and interior trends, the latest buzz word is ‘wellness’. With so many of today’s buyers of high-end property concerned about their health, creating wellness spaces within homes and new developments will become more important. It’s not just about creating a spa or gym, it’s also about offering the right programmes – yoga retreats, healthy eating plans etc, are all part of this.–what-to-expect-in-2017