This year is one of the hardest in which to predict where buyers’ money will be safe. Not only do we have Brexit affecting the European market, but there is political unease in the US, and the Chinese economy is very weak. However, if you have US dollars, you have the strongest currency for buying property in Europe or the Caribbean. About 80 per cent of buyers in parts of the Caribbean are British. Naturally, these sales have been hit significantly by the fall of the pound. If you are planning to buy in US dollars, this offers a great opportunity. Prices will be lower than usual and you will get a good deal.
I believe urban markets, whether in Europe, Asia or the US, will be quite stagnant throughout 2017. This will be a year for people to sit on their hands to see how the market reacts to changes. Some may very well feel their money is better invested in assets other than property.
In terms of the UK market, we are seeing a shift in Asian investment to commuter belt territories rather than prime central London. Although there will always be those buyers who want a central London home, areas outside the M25 ring road are growing in popularity among overseas purchasers.
Robin Paterson is the chairman of UK Sotheby’s International Realty