Ed Mead

The ‘noise cameras’ silencing the supercar show-offs

As a motorcyclist, I’m used to hearing complaints about loud exhausts. Plenty of bikers revel in the roar of their motor – after all, a powerful engine is one of the main appeals of motorbiking. But for anyone living near a busy road, the sound of revving can be thoroughly stressful. Most people who spend

London’s car drivers are being bullied

Any historic London footage inevitably features cars busily rounding Hyde Park Corner and shooting off up Park Lane, against the background of sky-scraping hotels and thriving offices. Have you seen the same bit of London now? It’s a giant car park, brought to a standstill by an administration with seemingly little idea how to promote

The truth about Camberwell – is Boris’s old haunt worth investing in?

Like other areas of London, Camberwell suffered from having much of its modern town planning done by the Luftwaffe. As the original bridges over the Thames were built, particularly Blackfriars in the 18th century, the roads leading to them, wide and quiet, became lined with handsome Georgian and Regency houses. Victorian fillers came later along

How to speed up buying a house

Everyone has a story about the stress of moving house. For those buying a new home, the process of exchanging contracts is perhaps even more nerve-racking than loading their worldly possessions into the back of a van. When I started in the property game in the late 1970s, buying a property – that’s when you

Why are experts always wrong about house prices?

Over the past two generations, those with property in the UK have been unwittingly transformed from owners to investors. This makes no sense, and has led to a lot of baby boomers feeling smug and clever when in reality they’ve just been lucky. However, the effect has been lasting and means property owners are now

Why now could be the time to buy a bigger house

The vast majority of people who move home do so because they need more space. In the good old days, the late 1970s, people moved often – on average every three years. The average is now nearer two decades (you can thank stamp duty for that). The same time period has seen a growing obsession

What the weak pound means for London property

Having written recently about how Prime Central London is enjoying a time in the sun after almost a decade in the doldrums, buying a property there just got even more tempting – if, that is, you’re spending dollars. And 66 countries worldwide are linked to the currency and affected by fluctuations in its value. A

Why the global elite are buying London property again

If you’re looking for a bellwether for the world economy, you could do worse than consider what’s happening at the very highest end of London’s property market. Over several decades, Prime Central London – or PCL – had become a repository for cash from wealthy foreigners, whether they actually wanted to live there or not.

Is London’s housing market faltering?

Prime Central London has always been viewed as safe. It has some major plus points for the world’s wealthy – it’s on the Greenwich Meridian so can trade East and West, is an island considered geographically safe and geo-politically stable. Wherever you lived in the world you could stash a considerable portion of your wealth in

The UK property boom looks set to continue

If there is one thing I have learnt from working in the property market for over 40 years it’s that any market prediction worth its salt takes into account the relationship between London and the regions. Sometimes the capital is a useful bellwether for the rest of the country but not always. In the early 2000s, the central

The London property hotspots most likely to gain value

The preponderance of publicity over the last 24 months exhorting Londoners to abandon ship has left some areas of the capital looking like relative bargains or at least lagging behind widely hyped price rises elsewhere in the UK. Indeed, the average property price in Cambridge is now higher than that of the capital. Anecdotally, the

Where to buy along London’s new overground routes

We’re forever reading about the transformative power of infrastructure projects. As house hunters contend with the lottery of which project is actually going to break ground, there’s a valuable lesson to be learned from Crossrail. Since Gordon Brown approved the plans in 2008 and building work began a year later, research from agent Benham & Reeves indicates postcodes with a

How to prevent house theft

The heart breaking story of the Luton vicar who had his house recently ‘stolen’ from him by fraudsters has rightly touched a nerve with property owners everywhere. The horror of arriving at your own home to find your keys no longer work in the lock and the house now legally belongs to someone else might seem like a

Where to buy along the Oxford Cambridge train line

Year after year, Oxford and Cambridge vie with other world universities for coveted top dog status. Unsurprisingly for such a concentration of brainpower, science and tech industries have blossomed in both cities over the past two decades, bringing with them an influx of young professionals on the look out for houses. Both are within an hour of London with

Could the next property boom be in Battersea?

I’m not quite sure what the average age of Spectator readers is, but for many a pink floating pig is their abiding memory of Battersea Power Station. Since 1983, when it stopped producing energy, there have been many unfulfilled promises and dreams for the building. I went inside it back then and it was immense.

Now’s the time to house hunt in Chelsea

Every now and then the London property cycle creates an anomaly missed by the majority of property buyers until it’s too late. It started about 25 years ago when overseas buyers lobbed a rock into the prime central London property pond – created ironically by a Labour government. In the run up to the Euro,

How London is reinventing retirement

Even ten years ago you’d have been laughed at for suggesting it – but there are several reasons why a London retirement is becoming more palatable, even desirable for those approaching the end of their careers and the start of the leisure years. The number of people aged over 65 projected to rise by over 40 per cent

The commuter villages that combine town and country

The rush to leave London has been a staple of property columns over the last twelve months. Built up, densely-populated urban areas were portrayed negatively in favour of remote locations, but as normal life begins to resume does that characterisation still hold? London is already back on the agenda for many professionals and will remain central to

How to negotiate on a house

With Rishi Sunak announcing plans for a Stamp Duty holiday extension and floating the policy of 95 per cent mortgages, the boom in house sales looks set to continue apace. So, in an increasingly competitive market, what’s the secret to securing the best possible price on a house? Firstly, your relationship with the agent is

Is now the time to invest in buy to let?

Buy to let remains a popular investment option for Brits, despite being the subject of major reform over the last three years. Government legislation since 2017 has been increasingly hostile towards buy-to-let owners but could the aftermath of the pandemic prompt a change? Figures from 2018 show that the Private Rented Sector [PRS] provides homes