After 8 years at the helm of City Hall, London waved goodbye to Boris Johnson this week and welcomed in a new Mayor in the form of Sadiq Khan. The farewell is likely to be short-lived as Boris, the political showman with his bumble-bluster style, returns to national politics as the bookies' favourite to be the next Prime Minister. We will no doubt see lots more of him over the next six weeks as he embarks on intensive Brexit stumping hoping to be the hero of the "out" campaign come 23 June. Meanwhile Mr Khan's honeymoon victory period is likely to be short-lived too. His inbox of pressing issues includes a review of the London Plan; decisions on who pays for Crossrail 2 (as well as finalising its route); ruling on the controversial called-in schemes at Bishopsgate Goodsyard and the Wimbledon greyhound track; and resolving the toxic housing conundrum. In the words of TV's only talking Meerkat; "Simples" then.
The St Bride's Navigator Club will again be convening over coffee and bacon sandwiches on Tuesday morning with no shortage of topics for healthy debate. The Referendum campaign has now reached half-time with neither side taking a decisive lead and market uncertainty now lingering. The property industry appears to be operating at walking pace, with reduced transactional activity in both the occupier and investment markets. But is this all down to the "Europe question", or are there other underlying issues in play causing a change in sentiment? The market still after all appears to be fundamentally strong with rents in many markets on an upward trajectory and supply constrained. We might argue therefore that the next few weeks present a one-off buying opportunity. An interesting paradox for the Navigators to muse over.
Switching from serious debate to low-brow celebrity (?!), it was announced this week that a previously unknown species of wasp has been named after film star Brad Pitt. The Conobregma bradpitti - as the wasp is now known - apparently joins a host of other creatures whose scientific names honour famous individuals. Other celebrities recognised in this way include Boris Becker (snail), John Cleese (Lemur) and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who shares his name with a beetle boasting markedly developed bicep-like middle femora. World-renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough shares his name with a Plesiosaur (an extinct marine reptile) and was further recognised on Friday when the government announced that the UK's new £200 million polar research vessel will be named after him. The public had voted overwhelmingly for the ship to be named Boaty MacBoatface, but this name will instead live on as the remotely operated undersea vehicle...and serve as a permanent reminder to the powers-that-be about the perils of opening up naming votes to the public!