My wife and I have returned this week from a delightful 11 days in London – (the London Eye Ferris Wheel should not be missed; the weather co-operated that day). The trip was a little pricey but worth every penny. We went for three good ‘runs’ 5 to 8k visiting Hyde, Green, St James and Regent parks. ‘But what about house prices’ I hear you ask. Yes I’m getting to that but in general terms and not with numbers. One does not visit a distant city for several days and become an expert on their property market. What one learns first in London is that meals, hotels, department stores and pharmacies provide their fare at about double what we would pay here in Canadian dollars. Don’t sweat it, you’re on holiday!
Apart from TV, the main organ of communication, especially in the U.K. is, of course, the newspaper and we received a choice at our hotel. We read The Independent, Evening Standard and the Times and, to clarify the heading above, saw numerous articles and headlines which dealt with the affordability issue concerning homes for the next generation of Brits. What seemed less evident was the angst (and blame) evident in the Vancouver press and our downtown, water cooler conversations. Having dealt with this issue for many years seems to have steered these conversations in a less emotional direction and is possibly more “solution oriented”. An interesting hour or so at Hyde Park’s Speakers Corner ‘doing further research’ revealed nothing new on the property front as the majority of offerings centred on either Jesus or Mohammed. So, we aren’t the centre of the universe, only our own one, I guess ;).
During our absence, I am led to believe that two R/E issues have been front and centre. Investment in residential property for income/speculation and a higher focus on Depreciation Reports for Strata Property. Both, I believe, will remain hot issues going forward.