The London property sales market – February 2021

The London residential property market remains resilient and despite current lockdown restrictions, we are busy, working within the government’s strict Covid 19 regulations.

The Chancellor’s Stamp Duty holiday has had a positive effect on the property market, continuing to boost demand from buyers. As a result, 2020 ended very well for us with numerous transactions taking place and new deals being agreed with buyers wishing to complete their purchases before the March 31st Stamp Duty holiday deadline.

This positive outlook has continued into 2021 and we have plenty of properties for sale and buyers still appear to be extremely motivated, whether they are homeowners or investors.

A positive outlook from buyers and sellers

The current lockdown appears to be having little impact on demand. In fact, we recently carried out our own research concerning buyers’ attitudes towards the current lockdown and its effect on house sales and purchases and it revealed that an overwhelming 81% of UK buyers and sellers planned to continue with their sale or purchase in 2021. You can read the full results of the survey on our website here.

City living remains a priority for many Londoners

In terms of homeowners looking to take the next step on the property ladder, the media has often reported on how London’s professionals have been reassessing their lives and deciding to ‘escape to the country’ in search of more space and a quieter pace of life. And of course this has been the case for many professionals, particularly families and older homeowners.

But at the other end of the scale, many younger professionals wouldn’t dream of leaving the bright lights of the city and many see now as a good opportunity to buy their first home. Their priorities have changed – but in a different way. Many are now looking to live closer to their place of work so that they can avoid travelling by public transport. They also want shops and other facilities nearby and access to a park or other green space. A second bedroom to use as a study is ideal and of course, a balcony is the icing on the cake.

Experienced investors searching out new opportunities

While we are seeing some caution from investors that had been considering their first property purchase in London, experienced investors who are used to the ups and downs of the property market are using this time as a good opportunity to expand their portfolios. Overseas investors in particular can benefit even further from the continuing weakness of the pound. They know that there are good deals to be had (particularly for cash buyers) and they can find extremely good value for money.

Since 2008 we have seen the financial crash, Brexit, unfavourable tax changes and now Covid 19 – yet still these investors recognise the long-term investment potential of London property which has continued to outperform other asset classes throughout these difficult times.

London is London – a hub for business, education and technology. And fundamentally this has not changed.

Exciting new residential quarter on the fringes of London

One of the next new residential developments to launch on the fringes of London is the Horlicks Quarter (from Berkeley) in Slough, Berkshire, just 22 miles west of central London. Here the famous Horlicks Factory’s iconic industrial buildings will be restored to provide stunning apartments and houses within a unique new residential quarter with open green spaces and a mix of commercial, retail, leisure and co-working space. The mainline rail station is a few minutes’ walk away and Paddington can be reached in 20 minutes while Crossrail is coming soon.

We have seen a lot of interest in the Horlicks Quarter from our investors in Singapore and Malaysia in particular and we our international offices here already have several transactions currently in the pipeline.

New webinars planned

At the moment we are mainly staying in touch with our clients on an individual basis, liaising with them to discuss the current market and new opportunities that we believe will be of interest to them.

But we’re also planning our next webinar London Property: an unbiased view which will take place 23rd February and anyone can join us by signing up. This will provide a comprehensive market update for investors and identify some of the best locations to invest in London property at the moment. It will also feature a talk from well-known industry speaker Graham Norwood who has an award-winning career in property journalism with all the top national newspapers. Its promises to be enlightening and informative.

Covid 19 vaccine rollout

So while current public health restrictions have undoubtedly given us challenges in terms of the way we carry out viewings, we are now used to working within these guidelines which no longer seem as difficult as they did at the start of the pandemic in 2020. Of course, international travel is difficult so online property virtual tours are very much the way forward for us and we expect this new way of working to continue to some degree, long after the pandemic is over.

Clients do not appear to be letting lockdown get in the way of their plans to buy or sell a property this year. And with the Covid 19 vaccine rollout really moving ahead now and normal life expected to resume gradually over the next few months, we anticipate demand to remain strong over the coming months.

If you are planning to buy or sell a residential property in London over the next few months, contact our sales team to find out more about our current opportunities. Our international teams are also hand if you are an overseas investor.

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About the Author

For 35 years Anita has been the driving force behind Benham and Reeves’ success as it has grown from a single branch in Hampstead, to one of central London’s oldest, independently owned sales, letting and property management companies. Anita's vision has driven the expansion of the business to offer a complete range of property investment related services from under one roof, from purchase to handover, furnishings and/or refurbishment to lettings and property management. Read more about Anita Mehra here - Read full profile

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