January is over and February brings thoughts of spring – and romance – so we thought you might enjoy the Market Comment from Nick Churton at Mayfair International Realty.

Homance

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Nick Churton of Chase International’s London office offers some timely real estate matchmaking advice as we head towards Valentine’s Day.

Good real estate brokers can be perfect sweethearts. It is always best to have someone by your side who values you, who will fight for you, who won’t argue (much), who will only hang around your home when you want them to, and always has your best interests at heart. Such a person may not make such a bad partner.

Of course there are good partners and bad partners. Selling real estate well rests heavily on the partnership built up between seller and broker. A good broker will lovingly put you and your property on a pedestal and then expertly and fiercely negotiate to achieve the best deal for you. On the other hand, a lesser agent or broker may only put your property on the internet with all their others and then haggle to find the easiest deal – easiest for them. There’s nothing good about a selfish Valentine.

There is a great difference between the two – often many thousands of dollars/pounds/euros/yen etc in the final price you achieve. You could come to love the former but hate the latter. The trick is finding the right Valentine broker at the outset. It’s a bit like finding the best boyfriend or girlfriend. They may look roughly the same at first but over time they all turnout very differently.

So if you are searching for the type of broker you could come to love this spring go on a few dates – invite a few to visit your home, give you some marketing advice and see how you get on. Then ask yourself which you would prefer, the cheap flashy one who brags a lot or the one with whom you feel most comfortable, the one with a background of stable and successful relationships – the one you would most like to introduce to your parents.

Mayfair International Realty – A London Eye on the Market

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A London Eye on the Market

Nick Churton of Chase International’s UK office in London takes a look at the year ahead in the international real estate market and finds a great deal to be optimistic about.

A new year always brings fresh eyes and impetus to the real estate world as new buyers enter the market and agents and brokers look with enthusiasm to the year ahead. There is a spring in the step of buyers, sellers and real estate professionals.

So this is a great time to take stock, look at the months ahead and keep a weather eye on international indicators. Like never before the health of local real estate markets – especially in the luxury sector – is linked to the health of the global real estate community as a whole.

North America and the UK have seen an upturn in financial fortunes over the past few years – particularly through lower employment and greater GDP. The confidence this has brought to the real estate market in these regions has been significant. But in the UK this year with a general election in May, and in the US in 2016 with a presidential election, we can anticipate periods of low pressure and associated turbulence which will affect activity and possibly slow growth. This is to be expected and is just part of the political and economic cycle.

When once asked what was the greatest challenge for a statesman, post war British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, responded, “Events, my dear boy, events”. And it is events that are one of the greatest challenges for real estate around the globe.

With the Chinese economy at a twenty-five year low real estate could be one of that country’s industries to suffer. Russia’s weakened currency through plummeting oil prices, international sanctions and political concerns has influenced the flow of international property buyers from that country. In Europe and the Euro Zone some debt-ridden member countries hamper growth across the continent. One feels that all this could dampen real estate interest: plus many individuals who wanted to invest in safe-haven real estate markets elsewhere in the world have done so already.

Yet, paradoxically, despite these events many real estate markets continue to flourish, exemplified by New York and London. For many London’s real estate market is seen as the world’s reserve currency and the same can certainly be said of New York. Influenced by these cities other regions and neighbours benefit.

The year ahead will no doubt throw many unwanted and unexpected events at us. Sometimes they will be minor and sometimes, as in Paris recently, they will resonate around the world. But appalling and heartbreaking as many of these events are, the desire of individuals to house themselves and their families and to invest their money wisely is stronger than the activities of terrorists, despotic leaders and rogue nations. Nature is stronger than man. But it is man’s nature to provide and improve. Which is why, despite events, the real estate market in most of the developed world will remain a dynamic one through 2015 and beyond.