By Nina Harrison, Executive Buying Agent at Haringtons
This week, HomeViews Property Pro contributor Nina Harrison shares her thoughts for the year ahead…
Frankly, if you asked many of those people selfish enough to be 55+ whether they’d rather carry on laughing at Brexit or get the last 30 years back they’d say give us the 30 years back and we’ll take the consequences, thanks very much. On that basis I’m positive about 2019 – at least while Brexit is still a raging argument and not yet an actualité. The Europeans already have a whole heap of very inconvenient messes to deal with so there’s a distinct chance that they won’t have the time or energy to do anything when Crunch Day comes. In the meantime, we are not staring World War III in the face; London continues to be one of the most appealing capital cities in the world (bearing in mind that all capital cities have their challenges) and the quality of new developments as a whole gets better and better. Here are some things I think will be talking points in the months to come…
Just a few years ago no-one went near a national railway station after dark. We spent 30 years staring idly at Battersea Power Station, wondering how long before it fell down and petrol stations, schools, even hospitals, were everywhere. Any unused religious, educational, public or industrial building left in London that hasn’t been decommissioned and repurposed is now living on borrowed time.
Simply repurposing 1950s and ‘60s brutalism is probably cost-effective and God knows there’s a need for cheaper housing, but where it’s just a stained concrete slab too far then bring it down and be as architecturally adventurous as you like with the replacement.
All new developments come with cafes, delis and restaurants onsite or a short stroll away. Where is all this food coming from? It can’t all be growing hydroponically under the streets and in disused railway arches, managed by inventive young people. Or perhaps it is? Let’s hope so. If anything should give us hope for the year ahead, that’s it.
And the promise of a pollution-free city now that the Mayor’s diesel tax kicks off in April. Electric and hybrid cars have their own special ways of polluting so don’t be thinking we can all relax, but the end of diesel can’t come soon enough. As a diehard user of public transport and private legs I shall be leading the charge and apologies in advance if I’m late.
This year’s show home gimmick…
In 2018 the top developments had a pair of artfully positioned reading glasses on every desk and bedside table. In 2019 it’ll be designer vegan boots (bio-degradeable), casually positioned in the entrance hall and with the soles given a quick sandpapering to look worn.
In summary, the world might well be pointing and laughing at the UK but we must have got used to that by now. We can also all agree that the property market will not emerge unscathed but not how deep the scathing will be. On the other hand, while we’re holding off buying in London because we don’t think we’re at the bottom yet, there are plenty of international cash buyers who are a bit more relaxed about bottoms and they are getting the pick of the deals.
Click here to read Nina’s reviews of London developments.