Brexit 'Breakthrough' is the headline news on my tablet as I write this December column with a dusting of snow appearing on my garden patio. Good news indeed, and no, not the snow!
After a month swanning around South Asia at average temperatures of +33c its been quite a shock to return to our (very) green and (mostly) pleasant land here in UK. No, I'm not referring to the increasingly invasive commercial excess of Christmas, as the Singapore leg of our trip had already firmly imprinted Jingle Bells et al into my head as it was regularly broadcasted in every shopping mall and hotel lobby that we visited.
The city state at the bottom end of the Malayan peninsula has a buoyant economy led by its technology manufacturing sector but this success story shows a quite stark contrast to that of the UK, as highlighted recently by a government report on productivity trends.
Thankfully, partly due to a weaker pound we are seeing an upturn in manufacturing exports and this may well be a contributing factor to the more positive trends that are being reported for many regional property values.
As we report in our article on Historic Ratios on page 25, average values ex London are on par with the long term trends. With a continuing likelihood of low borrowing costs for some years ahead we should expect property buying demand in many regions to increase.
This should add to what is already a positive trend by government to encourage property developers to 'build more' - in sharp contrast to the position taken by Government towards landlords as Richard Blanco underlines in his latest commentary on page 44.
Our lead article on page 16 is about driverless cars with an attempt to peer into the foggy mists of the future. As John Corey affirms in his commentary on this topic on page 50, change can be very swift once the masses realise the benefits of technological change. The comment about New York in 1905-1915 and the impact on society and the implications for many businesses at that time should be noted by all investors and property developers.