We’ve seen welcome news for the UK economy and the UK property market this month. First, the Bank of England has maintained the interest rate at 5.25%, bringing to an end the longest successive run of interest rate rises – 14 in total – in recent times.
And second, inflation has dropped from 6.8% in the year to July to 6.7% in August – the third fall in a row.
Asking prices for properties in London did fall by 1.5% this month, (the average price of a London home is now £673,200), according to Rightmove, but they also reported that the first week of September saw a 12% increase in new properties coming onto the market across the UK compared to August.
So there is every reason for cautious optimism.
Autumn is usually busy for us, as homeowners return to work after holidays and children return to school.
So buyers are forging ahead with property buying plans. Although they are cautious, looking for the best deals and unwilling to borrow more than they can afford. Interest rates may have peaked (hopefully), but previous increases continue to affect mortgage affordability.
We’re also seeing some sellers delay putting their property on the market, waiting to see if house prices increase.
A year ago, many predicted the property market would crash but this hasn’t happened and the market remains steady. With interest rates stabilising we should see greater confidence amongst buyers and an improvement in affordability for borrowers.
For more information on UK house prices, here’s our latest market index.
Our managing director, Anita Mehra, has just returned from one of her regular trips to China where she met investors, clients and property industry partners.
We have many China-based landlords who are expanding their London property portfolios so this was a welcome opportunity to discuss new developments launching in London that offer strong capital growth potential and good rental yields.
After a period of sustained growth, we now have 21 branches in London and 14 overseas offices and we are continuing to roll out this expansion programme.
We’ll be announcing new branches opening soon, further extending our network across London, as well as internationally, as we expand our sales and lettings services to overseas clients.
Our overseas offices have a schedule of exciting launches in London over the next few weeks, as new developments in recently regenerated residential areas take shape. International investors are finding good deals – thanks mainly to the weakness of sterling.
Our India office is carrying out high profile launches in Mumbai and Delhi in October as part of our strategic partnership with Barratt. The first is Sterling Place, a brand new development located on the historic site of a former printworks in South West London and only 24 minutes from Waterloo.
For our first launch in Turkey, in Istanbul, taking place 4th and 5th November, we are partnering with Berkeley to launch Royal Arsenal Riverside, a popular development in East London.
Our Hong Kong office is launching the latest phase at White City Living, a sought-after luxury development in West London, adjacent to Westfield.
And our Singapore office is launching Waterhouse Gardens in Manchester, a stunning mixed-use development offering high spec apartments and amenities alongside landscaped parkland and 30,000 sq ft of commercial space.
In autumn, we see a surge in demand from renters and September is our busiest month. Rents in London continue to soar and according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), are up 5.9% in the year to August.
We see many international students heading to London to start their university education. Central and East London are real hotspots.
Our City and East London branches are seeing robust demand with one bed apartments letting quickly for as much as £1200 per week. We’re receiving high numbers of enquiries for Marine Wharf in Surrey Quays and we’ve received several new instructions in Calico Wharf, the latest phase at Poplar Riverside by Berkeley, which are certain to let quickly.
South of the river, our Nine Elms branch reports that almost 99% of their tenants are overseas students who love the high spec, riverside location and short commute into central London.
We’re awaiting completions at Oval Village, a sought-after location for renters while flats are letting immediately at Prince of Wales Drive in Battersea SW11, a stunning Berkeley development near Battersea Park.
If you are planning to buy, sell or rent a property in London, please contact your local Benham & Reeves branch for expert advice.
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