It is tempting when ruing the lack of anything resembling meaningful progress on Brexit from Theresa May to try and console oneself with the knowledge that Maybot’s antics pale into insignificance compared with Donald Trump’s.
It is also tempting to look for evidence that the political chaos on the other side of the pond has had a more adverse impact on its property market than the chaos here has had on ours.
But as Property Week found out earlier this month when it visited New York to take a tour of the emerging Hudson Yards district and hipster hangout Williamsburg for our special international issue, the city’s property market is every bit as resilient as London’s.
Indeed, there are remarkable parallels between the two as they both try to shrug off the political uncertainty.
Both are being transformed by major regeneration projects: across the vast Hudson Yards district in New York and at King’s Cross, Paddington and Kensington Olympia in London. The upshot is a major shift west in New York and outwards of the centre in London as what they call TAMI and we call TMT tenants reshape the cities’ respective office markets.
Residential development is also playing a critical role in the evolution of both. In New York, some three-quarters of the population rent and the multi-family, high-rise living model is far more established than the PRS market is in London, but developers are still piling in, even in Williamsburg, a market that continues to go from strength to strength despite concerns over the impact of the subway train suspension in 2019.
The big difference between the two markets is the level of amenities on offer, with competition among developers in New York to include yoga studios, pools, membership clubs, basketball courts… you name it, likened to an arms race by local players.
In London, the competition is less intense - more five-a-side knockabout than arms race - but there is no doubting that experience and service are becoming increasingly important, and not only in the residential sector.
There are also parallels in the two retail markets as the impact of online players such as Amazon and travails of some of the larger, bricks ‘n’ mortar chains come to bear and smaller and fewer units are taken - often by smaller retailers. In both cases, the markets are adapting and surviving, even thriving in parts. Maybe sociopolitical chaos isn’t so bad for business after all.
It has been said that data is the new oil. That may be so, but to realise its value, you need to be able to refine the stuff. Property Week likes to focus on the analysis of data - the refining, if you like - rather than pumping out huge volumes.
Others, however, are most definitely in the volume game and news this week that agents are planning to join forces to launch their own data platform suggests some are charging too much, especially for data they are effectively selling back to the very parties that provided it. It will be interesting to see if this Dingo’s bark is worse than its bite.