Savills, the international real estate agent and advisor, has announced a reduction in profit of nine percent and group revenue up by 16 percent. Profit before tax was £24.7 million in the first half of this year compared to £26.7 million for the same period of 2018.

Revenue growth in North America was strong, at 31 percent, helping to counteract lower levels of activity in the Hong Kong and UK sales markets, Savills said.

Mark Ridley, Group Chief Executive of Savills plc, was predictably upbeat: “Given the lag effect of significant investment in recruitment in the preceding period and facing some challenging transactional market conditions, we had anticipated a slight decline in profits for the first half of 2019. The Group has delivered a resilient first half performance reflecting both the robustness and geographic diversity of our market positions generally, and the strength of our less transactional businesses,” he said.

“In many markets, particularly the UK and Hong Kong, political and economic uncertainty has considerably reduced the volume of real estate trading activity in recent months, although occupier demand remains robust. Underlying demand for the secure income qualities of real estate remains high, but these macro uncertainties weigh on investor sentiment and make predictions in respect of near term market activity difficult to determine with accuracy. Continued investor demand, restricted supply and expectations of continued low interest rates suggest that, if political clarity emerges, the medium and long term dynamics of the real estate markets in which we operate remain positive.”

Meanwhile, “prices in Monaco increased by an astounding 18 percent last year, at a time when the rest of the world’s prime residential hotspots are slowing or seeing value falls,” Savills Monaco office reported on June 7, 2019.