Weekly Property Round Up

Written on 15 May 2015

The property industry has picked up recent pace since the news of the Conservative election win, and we in the property department felt that it would be a great idea going forward to share news within the industry as we have been reading it each week. This may range from changes to tax regimes, political agendas, or acquisitions of land mark buildings; our blog merely serving as a platform to summarise and express our opinions on a week of headlines. So without further ado, here are my headlines of the week:

DTZ buy Cushman & Wakefield

The week began with the news that DTZ were to buy Cushman & Wakefield from Expor SpA, an Italian investment firm controlled by the Agnelli Family, for $2.04 billion. Both companies expect to complete the deal before the end of 2015, with the mega-merger creating one of the world's largest real estate companies. With the title of Cushman & Wakefield to be retained after the merge, it is likely that DTZ's willingness to give up its own brand name helped it beat other bidders, including China's Fosun.

Luxury Property Sales Soar

Following the election, London estate agents reported a huge surge in luxury property sales as buyers' fears over Labour's proposed mansion tax were disbanded. Referred to as 'Frenzied Friday', £100m worth of top-end central London property was sold as estate agents worked through the night to deal with renewed interest from wealthy buyers.

April's Bounce Back

London's house market rebounded in April according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, as the gauge for UK capital increased to 28 from -6 in March. This movement is the strongest since June, and the first time since August that it has been above zero. These gains are undoubtedly driven by a shortage of property for sale given the uncertainty of last week's election outcome, with new listings dropping to its lowest since May 2009. RICS have claimed that the UK's lack of affordable homes is now a 'national emergency' which the new government need to address as a priority.

Morgan Stanley predict back door 'Mansion Tax'

In the wake of the general election, many are left wondering how the new government will pay for everything that it has promised. Morgan Stanley have predicted that a likely source could be higher council tax rates for expensive properties. Despite the conservatives rubbishing proposals from Labour and the Liberal Democrats, the Chancellor does have a history of adopting the opposition's proposals. On the basis that the current council tax system is based on property values that have not been adjusted since its introduction in 1992, revaluation of these bands could significantly raise taxes on properties that have seen a great deal of growth in the last 24 months.