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Facing reality: What did we learn from 2016?

by Nigel White

1 When I was asked to consider my thoughts on themes for the real estate markets in the United Kingdom (and many of these themes affect Europe generally) for 2016 and predictions for 2017, I quickly realised that I was at a significant disadvantage to most commentators for at least two reasons. Firstly, as a mere lawyer most of my thoughts are based on market sentiment passed on to me “second hand” by clients (whether investors, lenders, agents or other interested participants). Secondly (and probably more importantly), I am writing this before 2016 has even drawn to a close but my words will not be read until we are well into 2017, so by definition I can and will be judged by events that actually unfold during that interim period. So with those legal caveats out of the way, what trends did I see during 2016 (a year dominated by surprising political events) and what themes might we experience during the course of 2017, both here at home in the United Ki

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