London, 8th February 2017 Sales It is hardly an understatement to say that many people (particularly those in property) are glad to wave goodbye to the tumultuous year that was 2016. The market reeled throughout the year from the damaging effects of Stamp Duty Land Tax, the unforeseen decision to 'Brexit', the struggle for the leadership of the Conservative party and the election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States. Whilst the serving of Article 50 in spring 2017 may hang over the economy in general, there is increased optimism within the property market going in to 2017. Much of this optimism is predicated on the performance of the market in the last quarter of 2016, which saw an uplift in high value transactions. Indeed Lonres, our consistent bellwether of the prime central London market, showed that transaction levels increased by nearly 20% in Q4 over quarters 2 and 3. At JLL we noticed a sea-change in sentiment when we returned in September and this was borne out by some high level transactions during Q4. We achieved over £2,600 psf for an unmodernised mews house 100 meters from Harrods, sold a double fronted house in a Knightsbridge Square nearby and achieved £2,878 psf for the sale of one of the penthouses at 375 Kensington High Street. This development has proved to be a continued success for our Kensington office based within the scheme and they report exceptional interest from the Middle East and an average rate per foot of £1,775 being achieved throughout the year. This success in Kensington should be continued within the new developments at 21 Young Street W8 and Logan Place W8 which will be coming on stream this year. Whilst it is bold to predict market movements less than five weeks into the New Year, it is heartening to see the continued strength of the stock market, much of which is predicated on the weakness of the Pound and the predominance of companies within the FTSE 100 where income streams are dollar pegged. With Trump’s imminent inauguration and his pledges for increased spending on infrastructure projects, I would expect the dollar to remain strong against Sterling and UK interest rates to remain low. With this in mind, we would expect to see London property looking an attractive long-term proposition for purchasers whose incomes are dollar based, particularly when coupled with the diminution in capital values which we have seen through 2016. It is with this renewed optimism that we are pleased to announce the opening of our new Chelsea office located at 2 Cale Street. We have been operating within the area (as WA Ellis) for nearly 150 years so we can be confident in saying that we know the area 'like the back of our hands'. With the vast experience of WA Ellis combining with the global reach and expertise of JLL in all facets of the property market, we want everyone who comes into contact with us to go away thinking they have found the best. It is this level of excellence in all matters property for which we strive.