FPD Savills safe from cooling market, says Adams

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The Independent Online

Savills, the country homes and top-end estate agent, has said its part of the property sector would not be affected by the slowdown in the housing market.

Savills, the country homes and top-end estate agent, has said its part of the property sector would not be affected by the slowdown in the housing market.

The company said interest rate rises would not hit its clients' buying power, as mortgages typically formed a small part of the purchase price.

Reporting a leap in half-year profits, Aubrey Adams, the chief executive, said: "Ours is an equity-driven, not debt-driven market. There are some very cash-rich individuals out there."

He said that on a £1m home, a client was likely to use a mortgage for only 30 per cent of the purchase price. "The top end of the market has the best prospects. The problems lie with those who rely on mortgages," Mr Adams said.

Savills said future house-price growth at its end of the market could be surprisingly strong. However, while there was still healthy demand for new homes, this sector was "no longer dominated by buy-to-let investors who are taking a more cautious view as interest rates have moved up".

Savills reported a 54 per cent rise in group pre-tax profits to £15.1m, for the six months to 30 June. The core agency business saw profits more than triple to £9.8m.

Separately, the housebuilder, Wilson Bowden, which has an average selling price of £211,000 in its main business, reported that house-price inflation had slowed to 2-4 per cent across the country. This included the northern and midland regions that had continued to shoot up after the South had cooled.

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