The Buyside

The Buyside

Introducing: The Buyside – Bitesize

Introducing: The Buyside – Bitesize

    Introducing: The Buyside - Bitesize Sophie and I have now been writing our Buyside updates for over 12 years. We made a promise from the outset to always be honest, to steadfastly represent the buyer’s perspective and to never sell the market. The challenging part has often been agreeing what to write as, truth be told, the Super Prime market dynamics haven’t changed dramatically in recent times, despite us having witnessed many...

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Celebrating London’s resilience

Celebrating London’s resilience

  Celebrating London's resilience With mounting geopolitical tensions and an unprecedented wave of international elections in the year ahead, there is a collective sense of anxiety about the global landscape and future. At the same moment, a gradual alignment of authoritarian powers and a wider tilt to nationalist and far right populists is challenging the world order, and presenting an existential threat to democratic life. Our sense of...

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The Buyside – Thanksgiving

The Buyside – Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving, we think of our American clients, friends, colleagues and peers as they celebrate with loved ones across the city. Many Americans gathered at St Paul’s Cathedral today for its annual Thanksgiving Day service, which has been held since the dedication of the American Memorial Chapel in 1958. “This emblematic memorial in one of Britain’s most iconic buildings stands as a symbol of hope and the bond of friendship between Great...

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The evolution of London’s landed estates

The evolution of London’s landed estates

Cadogan’s current redevelopment of Sloane Street – a significant project set to transform the Chelsea thoroughfare – is due to be completed at the end of 2024. The adaptation, approach and ability of London’s landed estates – notably Cadogan, Grosvenor, Howard de Walden, Portman and The Crown - to contribute meaningfully to the infrastructure, vision and development of their local communities make them a vital presence within the fabric of...

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Does One Swallow a Summer Make?

Does One Swallow a Summer Make?

With a scintilla of good news in July’s inflation figures, the UK’s mainstream residential property market may just breathe a sigh of relief over the summer months. If the Bank of England decides to raise its base rate by only 25bps in August and September, and then pauses for the remainder of the year, UK mortgaged households may feel they can ride out the current interest rate storm.  With commentators predicting rates could start to fall as...

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A meeting of minds: London’s members’ clubs

A meeting of minds: London’s members’ clubs

We welcome the recent re-opening of George in Mayfair, which has long been enjoyed as a favoured breakfast meeting spot for the firm’s founders Richard and Sophie. Sharing news and discussing ideas within the art-decked walls of George’s formal but intimate setting has been a regular part of RFR’s weekly rhythm. Alongside Mark’s Club, Annabel’s, Harry’s Bar and the Bath & Racquets Club, George makes up one fifth of The Birley Clubs group,...

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Navigating a new normal

Navigating a new normal

As the year opened, and with the political turbulence of the short-lived Truss era behind us, we anticipated that 2023 would signal the birth of a new, benign, and possibly ever-so-slightly boring ‘normal’.    The ship had been steadied, the FTSE had passed 8,000 and even the OBR thought the outlook had “brightened somewhat”, with the UK set to avoid a deep and prolonged recession.  Economic headwinds suggested that the market would not see the...

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Global businesses make London home

Global businesses make London home

With the opening of tech giant Apple's headquarters in Battersea Power Station early this year and Google's new head office set to open in King's Cross next year, we take a look at other significant headquarters across the capital. Spanning spheres of tech, finance, science, fashion and media, these global presences position the city as a leading player, infusing London’s vibrant streets with innovation and inspiration. Apple    Designed by...

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Will ‘global’ London break from the mainstream?

Will ‘global’ London break from the mainstream?

If a week is a long time in politics, then a year must feel like a lifetime to many economists.  In this edition of The Buyside, we will try to make sense of what the current political and economic landscape means for London’s prime residential markets in the months and years ahead. Rates   In November 2021, Capital Economics was calmly predicting that Bank of England interest rates (the ‘Bank Rate’) would not rise above 0.5% before at least...

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The Queen’s London.

The Queen’s London.

We culminate a collective period of mourning across London, the nation and globe, by reflecting on Queen Elizabeth’s interaction with the special properties that she called home before and during her long and devoted reign. In 2017, the Queen herself remarked that: "we think of our homes as places of warmth, familiarity, and love; of shared stories and memories. There is a timeless simplicity to the pull of home". From Clarence House to...

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A Unique Perspective.

A Unique Perspective.

RFR remains one of very few advisory firms focused solely on advising buyers in London’s prime and super prime residential markets. We have never sold property and have no intention of ever doing so. With no market to make, we channel a unique, independent perspective giving our view from the ground alongside our analysis of wider market commentary. War and Geo-Politics  In the current circumstances, it would be impossible not to reflect on the...

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Autumn Market Report.

Autumn Market Report.

As we enter the final quarter of 2021, RFR’s Autumn Market Report looks at the activity of London’s prime and super prime markets in our evaluation of the year to date. We investigate interesting themes in the market place, as well as explore projections for 2022 and beyond. We are excited to present our second video update of the year, and hope you enjoy sharing the insights discussed as much as we enjoyed collating and capturing them.  The...

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Spring Market Update.

Spring Market Update.

A year on from the start of Covid, our Spring Market Update looks at the state of London’s Prime and Super Prime residential property markets. We consider the impact of Covid-19 and lockdowns and share our outlook for the year ahead. We are excited to bring you our first video update and hope you enjoy some of the stunning shots of London as the sun returns and restrictions begin to ease.    The Spring Market Update is presented by Richard...

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When will the market take flight?

When will the market take flight?

None of us could have foreseen the resilience shown by the prime/super prime London residential markets in 2020. Property elbowed its way to the top of the personal agenda and, for wealthier Londoners, a move to a home more conducive to lockdown life became a priority. It is too early for us to tell whether the market will rally as fervently in 2021. The agreed trade deal with the EU has certainly helped to settle nerves and the successful roll...

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RFR Autumn Market Update:  On the Rebound

RFR Autumn Market Update:  On the Rebound

As we emerged from lockdown in late May this year, we would have been brave to predict the levels of activity that the prime and super prime London markets have enjoyed over these remarkable summer months. So, encouraged by recent events, and notwithstanding the grim economic outlook, Savills revised their mainstream residential market forecasts upwards this week to reflect a likely rise of 4% in values in 2020 and an overall 20% total growth...

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The London Market Unfurls

The London Market Unfurls

With the government taking an understandably cautious approach to easing the lockdown, few in the property industry expected yesterday’s decision to lift restrictions on buying, selling and renting residential property.  Within the ranks of lawyers, agents, surveyors and other participants in the Prime and Super Prime markets, there is a palpable frisson; a mixture of excitement and trepidation as we ‘return to school’.     Most people we...

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Easter. A good time to hunt for a bit of optimism.

Easter. A good time to hunt for a bit of optimism.

RFR Special Coronavirus Market Report, Easter 2020. After five long years of disruption to the prime residential markets precipitated by significant increases to the rate of Stamp Duty and the evolving narrative of Brexit, we wrote to you all at Christmas with the message “All is calm, all is bright”. As we head into the Easter weekend, we are struck by how much has changed since our Yuletide thoughts.       As predicted, and...

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What Happened To The Roaring Twenties?

What Happened To The Roaring Twenties?

As we began researching our latest market musings, we did so in a blissful post-election, pre COVID-19 world. We had decided on a comparison with the Roaring Twenties; a decade of economic boom, female empowerment and technological wonders. Afterall, the ‘Boris Bounce’ seemed to usher in a new period of prosperity - global markets were at record highs, Brexit was in motion and the Corbyn risk to our market had been removed. Words such as...

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Boris Johnson's decisive majority in Friday's general election precipitated a surge in confidence across the markets. Sterling rose sharply overnight and the FTSE 250 marked its biggest jump in a decade as investors piled into UK stocks with residential housebuilders leading the charge. The property industry was quick to respond over the weekend with some sales agencies promulgating the immediate effects of the 'Boris Bounce'. There is no...

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Long-haul to London

Long-haul to London

I write our latest insight on the London residential market on a long-haul flight from São Paulo, returning from my first visit to this extraordinary high-rise city of some 22 million inhabitants. Brazil is going through significant economic change with interest rates at record lows of circa 5%, down from an average of 15% over the last 20 years. The families and private wealth professionals that we met were clear to voice their appetite for...

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