Cheer for leaseholders in the Stamp Duty gloom?

The Chancellor’s shake-up of Stamp Duty last year continues to depress the prime central London market, latest figures show. With the freehold values of high-end flats and houses at their lowest levels for two years, and continuing to fall, it looks like an opportune window for leaseholders to extend short leases or go for collective freehold purchase.

The latest capital value index from Savills shows prime central house values have fallen by 4.3 per cent, and flat values by 4.75 per cent, since the huge Stamp Duty hike for properties over £937,000. This was in spite of a small seasonal fillip in the spring – values fell again through the summer, though more slowly than last autumn and winter. In contrast, prime outer London values have already begun to ease upward a little. (more…)

Savings success on Crown Estate flats

Over the years I have saved my clients an average of around 25 per cent on their landlords’ starting offers for lease extensions and freehold acquisitions. However, because so many factors may or may not affect a particular case, the savings achieved can vary widely. This is illustrated by a recent success for a client extending leases on two flats in adjacent buildings on the Crown Estate (in a prime location even in Knightsbridge terms!) (more…)

Shingles settles: £200,000 below client’s initial offer!

This year, in what must be a first for the central London leasehold market, I secured a settlement on a client’s leasehold extension that was not only £1.8 million below the landlord’s starting price (a saving of almost 36 per cent), but almost £200,000 below my client’s initial offer.

For all my clients, I leave no stone unturned to reach the best possible settlement, but this case was extraordinary even for me. The rare – possibly unique – result was achieved because I pursued, doggedly and rapidly, evidence that other valuers would not have been able to produce. (more…)