What do you ask Santa for this Christmas? Cars, they’re the ideal present for me, just love them and always have. Not any that I can afford or look appropriate in, just the barmy ones that are noisy and fun, or so I thought…

On the topic of ‘barmy’, it’s not a bad phrase to sum up 2016. An “out” EU Referendum and tumbleweed throughout the summer; a (thank god) short lived run on retail funds; a change of face in the top job here and across the pond; a slight thaw on the austerity agenda; a kick on the SDLT front; most supermarkets doing deals again; a housing and exchange rate ‘crisis’; and don’t get me onto business rates (having just moved our business into a premises in Mayfair last year). Barmy. Still, that against a background of some more positive notes: HS2 becoming more of a reality; massive moves into Birmingham by HSBC and the HS2 College; expanding British brands like JLR, Bentley and Rolls Royce; Wells Fargo and Apple showing confidence in London by taking more space (and when passporting continues to be on the agenda); the further rise of sheds and internet retail, multimodal and tech; and, perhaps, not as disastrous a financial year as most anticipated back in May.

Tech continues to be one of the main disrupters. Apps and machines fulfilling traditional roles, not confined to any one part of the real estate sector but affecting legal as well as agents and other consultants alike. This spreads out wider. Will we soon be being driven in driverless electric cars that park themselves whilst our shopping centres become more like leisure complexes and resorts with telephones in our fingernails and ‘face time’ in our glasses?

Which gets me back to cars and “or so I thought”. I have never been a fan of electric cars before, but seeing the new JLR I-Pace I am a convert. Beautiful. Maybe I should come into the modern world and ask Santa for one of those next year. Definitely an environmental ‘ho ho ho’ but more likely to be the ‘matchbox’ version for me…

From all here at Freeths Real Estate we hope that Santa delivers to you what you ask for and wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas.