As Property Week columns over the past few weeks have demonstrated, the apocalypse did not happen and life post Brexit vote is actually pretty normal.
There will be an inevitable short-term slowdown reflecting the natural caution of funds weighing the chance of a bargain against the uncertainty of future EU negotiations, but meanwhile business continues and life goes on.
When the world’s largest bank Wells Fargo agreed the purchase of 33 King William Street from Slovak developer HB Reavis, it not only showed its continued commitment to London as Europe’s financial centre but took advantage of a handy 15% discount. Two significant examples of business as usual in London have caught my eye in recent weeks.
Mayor Sadiq Khan is already taking the Old Oak Common opportunity more seriously than his predecessor. He rightly called for a review of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) and will surely conclude it needs either a strong chair or chief executive, preferably both.
OPDC’s previous chair was Boris Johnson’s deputy mayor for planning and regeneration, Sir Edward Lister, but he, poor chap, was already wearing the many other hats Boris had blithely passed to him and couldn’t dedicate the time to what is effectively a full-time job.
Meanwhile, Queens Park Rangers FC, with partners Genesis Housing Association and Anthony Green & Spencer, won consent for a £175m mixed-use scheme on the Oaklands site delivering 600 new homes, of which 40% are affordable.
It’s a great start to changing Old Oak from a wasteland into a vibrant new quarter of London that can, if properly planned, deliver 25,000 homes and 55,000 jobs.
So far, Khan has impressed, as has his deputy mayor for housing James Murray. Jules Pipe, the former mayor of Hackney, is an experienced and able politician who knows the capital well, and his appointment as deputy mayor for planning is also good news.
Another significant development re-emerged when Irvine Sellar, godfather of The Shard, unveiled his new plans for the area around Paddington station.
I have long been a fan of this scheme, which will transform the frankly run-down area around Praed Street, which is surely the least appealing of any of London’s major terminals, particularly since Waterloo, Liverpool Street, King’s Cross and St Pancras have shown what can be achieved and in light of the work under way at London Bridge and Victoria.
The current entrance to Brunel’s station with its magnificent glass roof is a disgrace and needs rethinking. The Underground access often has to be closed as it can’t accommodate the crush of passengers.
Sellar is committing £65m to transforming these accesses and the public realm around the station. His favourite architect Renzo Piano, who also designed The Shard, has come up with what he calls a “floating cube”, which is all office.
Jobs are as important as homes in London. You can’t have one without the other and this is a scheme that I hope Westminster will approve in due course so it can actually improve access to Crossrail.
And just a thought as we enjoy this holiday season. We have lived with the consequences of the cult of youth since Tony Blair burst on the scene in 1997. I wish David Cameron and George Osborne no ill, but regardless of how one voted in June, isn’t it a pleasure to see a government of grown-ups in charge for a change?
Steve Norris is chairman of Soho Estates and BNP Paribas Real Estate