A friend of mine once described nighttime in the central London Square he called home as the quietest place in the country. The huge number of properties owned by absent, overseas investors really did mean that all the lights were out, and no one was at home. I wondered if this still holds true, but reading the thoughts of our expert panel, it sounds like - despite the seismic changes we've all been through - perhaps the Central London Prime Property market has seen less change than most.
There's a consistent thread from all of our contributors - hold firm on price, look to the long-term, and remember how the London market has always offered a safe haven. In these uncertain times, let's hope it continues to do so.
Islay Robinson, CEO at Enness Global Mortgages:
Every time the clouds pass, international money floods into the London property market - the brief period of time between the Brexit withdrawal agreement and the start of the Covid pandemic clearly proved that, and there is still clear signs of pent up demand.
The market has had a list of challenges over the last decade: Brexit, Covid, austerity, stamp duty, tax changes for enveloped properties, IHT and more but the view is still widely held that you should never bet against the London property market. It remains central to the financial and cultural worlds, is politically and legally safe and remains top of many an investment list.
The key is to buy well, to finance correctly and to hold. Right now, starter homes and one to two bed properties with gardens are in high demand given the stamp duty holiday. Newbuild apartments are only good value if you can negotiate a significant value. Four plus bedroom houses with gardens are like gold dust in the £2-£10 million range, but only in the right areas. And don't touch anything over £10 million unless it has outside space.
Finance wise - interest rates are very low; mortgage availability remains very high if you can show either income or wealth and there are still very strong reasons to borrow money to acquire property.
France is one of the most popular property markets for foreign nationals: we are all aware of the chic appeal of Paris, the enduring allure of the Riviera in the summer or the freshness of the mountains in winter.
Covering everything from search and negotiation to making an offer and the legal processes, the guide will help you fulfil your dream of property ownership in France.