Top Ten London Buying
Ed Tryon set up Lichfields in 2007, and it has since perfected the art of acquiring high-value newbuilds in prime central London, accruing £250 million-worth of off-plan acquisitions since 2012. ‘Our average ticket size has historically been around £8 million, the highest value has been just under £60 million, and we start at about a million,’ Tryon elaborates. In recent times, however, he has felt loath to tell buyers to commit. ‘The twin headwinds of Brexit and the uncertainty about the change in government has made it extremely difficult to advise with any level of confidence,’ he says. However, the new year heralded a change in fortunes at Lichfields. Although this upswing has yet to be translated into deal flow, appetite is there, says Tryon: ‘The certainty and optimism that is currently prevailing has been sorely absent in recent times. I’m more positive than I have been any time in the last 36 months.’ However, the property market is not out of the woods yet, with the Treasury standing firm on the troublesome issue of stamp duty. Tryon says he is met by looks of incredulity when he tells clients about the 15 per cent stamp duty on acquisition, so the prospect of an extra 3 per cent surcharge on non-UK taxpayers doesn’t bode well.