Dan Conn, chief executive of Christie’s International Real Estate
Markets seem willing to overlook the year’s political uncertainty, given the expected pro-business stance of the Trump presidency and other governments. For global buyers, I believe investment in high-end residential property will continue to be viewed as safe and attractive. Currency moves will fuel increased demand in high-end markets in stable environments. On a relative basis, London may be a more attractive location for global buyers in 2017, as will Paris, due to the weakened euro.
Yolande Barnes, head of Savills World Research
The global challenge for real estate investors is to find value in a world where low interest rates have pushed asset prices, including residential property, to the full. Even private investors are now banking more on what a property can actually provide for them — either in terms of amenity or additional income — than on capital growth. Buyers all over the planet are beginning to recognise that neighbourhoods offering a high quality of life will appreciate in value, not just so many square feet of bricks and mortar.
Nathan Brooker, property writer for FT House & Home
While rapidly dropping prices in prime central London will probably level off and growth in entrepreneurial cities such as Austin and Portland will probably edge forward, in reality, all bets are off. Since the financial crisis of 2008, growth in prime property markets has been facilitated by international capital flows. As western democracies seem ready to embrace protectionist policies, disruptions to the free movement of capital could seriously destabilise global property markets.
Robin Paterson, chairman of UK Sotheby’s International Realty
This year is one of the hardest in which to predict where buyers’ money will be safe. But if you have US dollars, you have the strongest currency for buying property in Europe or the Caribbean. I believe urban markets, 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 upcoming changes. Some may very well feel their money is better invested in assets other than property.
Liam Bailey, global head of research at Knight Frank
Tax is a growing influence on market performance. Over the past 12 months a number of rules aimed at controlling the destination of investment flows were brought in. Clearly the expansion of so-called cooling measures to control international wealth flows into property shows no sign of easing.