The Buyside

The Buyside

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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May the Force be with you

May the Force be with you

For those of us who grew up with the original Star Wars trilogy, the ‘Rebel Alliance’ was an interstellar coalition of revolutionary factions that raged against the totalitarian Galactic Empire. Whilst the Galactic Empire considered all dissent and rebellion to be an act of extremism and terrorism, the Rebel Alliance was described and portrayed in various Star Wars media as a group of resilient freedom fighters battling for a better future....

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Land of the Free, Land for the Many

Land of the Free, Land for the Many

As we put pen to paper, our friends across the Pond are celebrating their 243rd Independence Day. One of the opening tenets of their Declaration of Independence is that “all men are created equal”. Equality, or more correctly, inequality, is also a central theme of George Monbiot’s recent report entitled ‘Land for the Many’. Mr Monbiot’s report sets out a series of proposals for the Labour Party to consider for “its policy development process...

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RFR Spring Market Update

RFR Spring Market Update

Since the New Year, Ken Griffin, the founder of Citadel, has been making headlines on both sides of the Atlantic. In the US he acquired the most expensive home ever at $238m (almost double the previous record) with a quadruple apartment 50 floors up on Central Park South. Meanwhile, in London he acquired a former MI6 19th Century Nash-designed house on Carlton Gardens for £95m and, so rumour has it, a penthouse in the new Peninsula Hotel for a...

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Too early to call it…

Too early to call it…

It’s far too early to make any serious predictions for 2019. Whilst the residential market typically finds its stride towards the end of January/ mid-February, we suspect activity and spirits will remain dampened due to the continuing uncertainty surrounding Brexit, which reached a crescendo last week. We shall now sit tight and see what this afternoon brings. What is certain is that we will see a further fall in transaction volumes whilst we...

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Proper planning prevents p*** poor performance!

Proper planning prevents p*** poor performance!

Putting a well-known military adage to work, RFR’s Project Managers look at the holy trinity of budgeting, programming and feasibility when mobilising a refurbishment project. It can be very easy for people to get swept away by grandiose architectural schemes, free-flowing layouts and the gratifying act of picking bespoke kitchens, Italian marbles and specialist wallpapers. However, there are few scenarios more disappointing and stressful to a...

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“Property Advisor of the Year”

“Property Advisor of the Year”

We are delighted to announce that RFR won "Property Advisor Of The Year" at the Spear's Wealth Management Awards 2018 at the Dorchester last night. The flagship Spear’s Awards recognise the very best in wealth management, private banking, law, property and other professional services. Each year, winners are selected by a panel of leading industry experts from a shortlist prepared by the Spear’s Research Unit. Established by former City lawyers...

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No news is good news?

No news is good news?

The 2018 Autumn Budget was predicted to be a relatively ‘quiet’ one, allowing the Chancellor enough room to manoeuvre on Brexit whatever form it takes. As far as residential property is concerned, it almost lived up to its billing with changes to the associated tax regime more benign than we feared.  Although not overtly mentioned by the Chancellor in his statement to the House of Commons this afternoon, the headline grabber (litmus-tested by...

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Will fortune favour the brave?

Will fortune favour the brave?

Dancing Queen Not long after Ed Balls lauded the idea of a Mansion Tax he exited politics and became a contestant on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing (surviving through to week 10). Last week Theresa May chose to float yet another property tax idea: a stamp duty levy on non-resident buyers. London’s sales agents must be hoping her penchant for dancing means she may just follow in Ed Balls’ footsteps. However, for all the angst she has caused this...

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Castle in the Sky?

Castle in the Sky?

By and large, London is a city of two or three storey homes. We have built outwards, we have dug downwards. Does the future lie in extending upwards? In February, the then Housing Minister, Sajid Javid, announced proposals to relax planning laws to encourage upwards extensions in high density areas. The idea had already appeared in a Government White Paper last year and was discussed in Sadiq Khan’s draft London plan published last November....

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When will London go quiet?

The artists' studios Looking up from stationary traffic on the Talgarth Road the other day, I was struck again by the incredible row of artists’ studios (formerly known as St Paul’s Studios) just around the corner from Barons Court tube station. Now rather blackened around the edges by decades of traffic fumes, we can only imagine how fabulous they must have been when they were completed back in 1891, overlooking a much narrower road occupied...

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Projects Clinic

As we embrace 2018 and resolutions are well underway, the RFR team are spreading our resolve to help our clients run smarter, more efficient and, most importantly, enjoyable construction projects! With this in mind, we are producing a mini-series of newsletters, providing advice on how to strategise for and deliver a successful project. This month’s instalment looks at mobilisation and how to set up your project ‘right’. Mobilisation -...

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Renting London property?

How hard can it be? As most London tenants will agree, finding a quality property to rent can turn into a bit of a headache. There are some good flats and houses on the London lettings market but most options are tired or compromised so the very best ones tend to get snapped up quickly or never come to the open market – not ideal for those with busy lives, particularly when they are moving from abroad or elsewhere in the UK. Why everyone’s...

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Market Report

Market Report

Remember, remember, the fifth of November The legacy of George Osborne This Bonfire Night we might forgive the Sales Agents for wishing Guy Fawkes had succeeded back in 1605 for certainly our politicians have done a good job of stalling London’s residential property market! Whilst traditionally one would suspect the political left (after all, it was Ed Balls who mooted a mansion tax), the real villain (in the industry’s eyes) is George Osborne....

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SDLT and divorce: a bitter pill to swallow

A recent advisory mandate left us scratching our heads as the judge ruled that a divorcing client moving out of the family home wouldn’t receive any specific help with SDLT. You can make a case for a new set of teaspoons it would seem but when it comes to finding the huge slug of SDLT payable on the purchase of a relatively modest new home in London with room for the kids to stay, you’re on your own! On top of this, the November Budget’s...

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London voted in. But the U.K. voted out.

In the wake of the Conservatives’ general election victory, we cautioned against the hyperbole of much of the London property market. At the time we wrote “transaction costs remain high, capital gains tax is now a factor for everyone and, most importantly of all, much of the current stock is relatively poor (over-priced, recycled, compromised and/or illiquid)”, warning also of the upcoming challenge posed by the “inevitable in/out European...

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A Cinderella Transformation

A Cinderella Transformation

As the year draws to a close, the Projects Team at RFR, comprised of a talented group of project managers, architects and interior designers, reflect on the year gone by and the homes we have created as well as those projects being driven to completion in time for our clients to enjoy their first Christmas there. Our client faced a challenge. A recent change had pulled her from beautiful rural surrounds to a rather tired and lacklustre...

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