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March 2009

Capital optimism

LONDON could be set to lead the way in offering signs that the economic downturn is behind us.

That is the feeling of Jeff Doble, group managing director of Thamesview, whose 20 offices in the west and south west of the capital include the brand names Dexters, Snellers and Fletchers.

And Mr Doble’s optimism is such that his group has a ‘war chest’ ready to expand its operations across London this year.

“London was first to experience the effects of the recession at the start of last year when prices started levelling out – and now we’re starting to climb out of the downturn,” said Mr Doble. “All our offices are reporting renewed levels of interest from buyers since early January, fuelled in part by continued low interest rates and the promise of further cuts. In fact some offices are reporting a shortage of properties. This may soon have the effect of starting to push prices back up again.

“The trouble is a lot of people who may be contemplating a move this year are waiting to see what the world financial markets are doing and how interest rates will perform in the UK first.
“This is having the effect of keeping potential sellers out of the picture, creating a shortage. There are plenty of keen buyers with money to spend. They just want to feel that they are getting good value, and quite rightly so. So the ones which are making the offers are those who recognise a good deal in the right location.”