A few days ago Mr. Jim Rogers stated “The UK has nothing to sell to the world once the oil dries up”. Strong words from a well respected source. But do speculators really know more than the rest of us?
My answer: NO. The UK has and will always have many things to sell to the world. Having been an International Property Consultant for the last twenty seven years I shall limit my response to his statement to my own area of expertise – international investors and their continued interest in the London property market. London property alone has always proved a powerful tool in attracting foreign investment.
I believe that foreign interest in the London property market will rise continuously for many reasons. To name a few, first and foremost it is important to note that the UK is politically stable and thus a good fairground for investment. Secondly, it has an established legal system safeguarding foreign ownership which gives foreign investors the security they need to invest. Furthermore, strict and inflexible planning regulations mean that there will be a very limited supply of new properties coming into the market, yet another reason for future increases in the price of prime properties. To illustrate this point, I refer to a house I sold in Knightsbridge in 1984 for one million pounds. This house is now valued at twenty two million pounds.
I remember the wise words of a successful Middle-Eastern Investor in 1985 who said “The British pound is one of the oldest and most secure currencies in the world. It has never paid to bet against the long term value of the pound or the long term health of the British economy”. This was stated at a time when the pound had almost touched parity with the dollar, and investors abandoned the pound in droves – yet he remained calm and confident. It just goes to show that having smart theories and ingenious ideas is no substitute for good old fashioned common sense.
In conclusion I believe it would be wise to consider why we are so easily influenced. Perhaps next time when the pound rises again (as it most certainly will one day), we can question our own foolishness in thinking celebrity speculators know more than we do.
I wish you all every success.
Mohammad (Mamad) Kashani-Akhavan