Naomi Heaton Optimistic Despite Brexit Concerns

September 11, 2019 | Real Estate
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Optimism for the year ahead, says London Central Portfolio chief

Naomi Heaton, chief executive of the property investment firm London Central Portfolio, expressed optimism for London markets despite continuing Brexit issues.

In an interview with Property Funds World, Heaton said it was a good time to buy real estate. She cited a drop in property prices and a weakened Pound compared to other major currencies.

“This makes it a good time in the market cycle to invest,” she said in the interview. “Whilst Brexit uncertainty is still holding many [people] back, as soon as there is a clear direction of travel, there is likely to be a significant surge of activity.”

Naomi Heaton Expects Stronger London Real Estate Market

There are signs of improvement in the London market. According to London Central Portfolios’ internal figures, annual prices increased by 1.5%; That uptick came despite a decline in weekly deals to just 62 sales per week. The number of weekly deals has declined for several years. However, signs exist that this is in the process of bottoming out. This year’s 5% decline is the lowest since 2014.

“In Prime Central London, the impact of taxes over the last few years and Brexit uncertainty have probably taken their toll and price discounts are likely to be at their lowest point,” said Heaton. “This sets the scene to push up prices and the increase in buying activity seen over the last few months has changed the market dynamic.”

Central London Portfolio is not the only optimism firm for a post-Brexit World.

In 2017, Blackstone raised the largest European Real Estate Fund today. The firm remains very active in the London markets. James Seppala is the head of the private equity giant’s European operations.

He said last year in an interview with Data and Research firm EG, “I hope we will be investing more in London offices over the next several years because we see the leasing success if you own good real estate and are prepared to invest into the asset, as well as the liquidity of those assets, once stabilized.”

Brexit is messy and painful.

It has taken a toll on real estate prices across the United Kingdom.

However, London isn’t going away.

The market will recover at some point.

According to Naomi Heaton, that recovery may have already begun.

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