How the transfer window adds £100m to the property market


The character Mr Micawber in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield is a good source of quotes on the subject of happiness. In the novel, Micawber, an eternal optimist, is repeatedly convinced that ‘something will turn up’. His name is often used to refer to someone who lives in a constant expectation of a better life and is the foundation of the “Micawber Principle”:

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds and six. Result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six. Result misery.”

The Pursuit of Happiness
Following the massive and, some may say, obscene “splash of cash” during the January transfer window by Premier League clubs, which is almost certain to be exceeded by transfers and spending in the new transfer window starting 1 July, money is a popular subject in the world of football and often spent by those who can least afford it!

Whilst we see players attracting huge sums of money in transfer fees, perhaps however, the biggest sums are spent on the players’ weekly wages of players which, whether good or bad, has a significant baring on the economy and the local areas where the ‘stars’ leave or arrive. This is particularly evident where the property market is concerned.

Real Estate v Real Madrid
Some real estate agents have estimated that any given transfer window could be worth as much as £100m to the UK property market, as highly-paid Premier League players joining new clubs eye up new homes to buy or rent as part of their relocation. From our own experiences acting for high profile footballers and celebrities, the niche areas such as Cheshire, Surrey and Hertfordshire will be on high alert to potential market activity over the next few months. Big wages and signing-on fees mean footballers are both cash-rich and willing and able to transact on a property very quickly making them highly desirable customers for vendors and landlords of prime property.

Often the first signs of transfer activity will not be found on the back pages of the press but instead by observant fans watching the property market for those tell-tale signs. Last year eagle-eyed Arsenal fans noticed that Robin Van Persie’s house had been put up for sale ahead of his move to Manchester United last summer, and news in January of Mario Balotelli’s rented property being marketed sparked a flurry of rumours about his iminent departure to Milan.

Nowadays the merest whiff of an alleged sighting in an area can create social media pandemonium. Invariably newspapers pick up on the story and before long the news (or rumours?) is everywhere. What starts as a simple tweet can quickly turn into a media frenzy.

However what must not be forgotten amongst the bright lights and flash cars is that the constant movement of these wealthy young men has a major impact on the property markets and it is estimated that the transfer window home-moving activity could be worth as much as £100m to the property industry each summer, accounting for house sales, rental agreements and home refurbishment and renovation costs.

Jim Pearson – Sports Consultant