The property market in London continues to face its challenges. In particular, the current political situation in the UK, with Brexit and the Conservative leadership contest still unresolved, continues to create uncertainty and property markets do not like uncertainty! This is prompting many buyers – particularly overseas investors – to continue their ‘wait and see’ approach. They simply see no rush to purchase unless a developer is offering a significant discount (and many developers are offering good discounts at the moment) or a seller is keen to move and will therefore accept a much lower offer.
On a more positive note, there is still plenty of activity amongst owner/occupiers who are keen to move or to take their first step onto the property ladder. Many believe that this is a good time to buy because of the many opportunities out there in a subdued market.
Low interest rates remain the most important factor for owner occupiers who can borrow at historically low rates and therefore reduce the cost of borrowing – this situation is likely to continue for several more years yet. And of course, the weakness of sterling makes purchasing UK property much cheaper for overseas investors.
So, while these two key factors remain steady, the long term outlook remains more positive too. A return to form can happen quite quickly when buyers’ confidence is restored so an upturn in demand, when it happens, could be quite swift.
We have just carried out research amongst 20,000 landlords – and the findings are very revealing.
Interestingly, 73% of our landlords believe that property is still the best and least volatile long-term investment.
61% of our landlords believe that interest rates will remain low over the next five years.
And while 72% say that Brexit has had a negative effect on their outlook on property investment, a staggering 80% still would not consider selling in the next year.
In fact, 51% would consider buying another property over the next five years.
And happily, 85% of our landlords would recommend using Benham & Reeves!
In terms of rental demand, the outlook remains positive for buy-to-let investors. We are currently seeing higher demand than ever for rental properties in London and in many areas our London lettings branches have waiting lists of referenced applicants waiting to move into homes.
The key criteria for investors are to choose a development that has good facilities, a high spec and good transport links and to ensure that it is in a popular location with good amenities nearby. Know your target tenant and make sure the property you are about to purchase meets their needs and suits typical accommodation budgets.London City Island – a new area of regeneration in East London
London City Island in Canning Town, close to Canary Wharf, is one of the most important new projects to emerge in East London for several years. It has been popular with professional tenants for a while now thanks to its stunning riverside location and proximity to Canary Wharf and the City. Crossrail and DLR stations are a few minutes’ walk away across a new footbridge. The development has 1600 homes (the second phase is now under construction), 20,000 sq metres of office space, cafes, restaurants and shops – it is also the new home of the English National Ballet.
We have several landlords with rental properties in the development and rental demand is strong amongst professional tenants, with apartments usually letting very quickly. For more information on London City Island, call our sales team on 020 3280 6400.
So investors should remain confident that, as long as they research which developments are experiencing the highest demand, buy-to-let continues to offer strong investment potential. The best course of action is to work with an agent who can offer advice on different areas and which developments and locations will meet their investment criteria.
If you would like to discuss which current investment opportunities could meet your needs, or if you are planning the purchase of your first or next home, our London sales office will be happy to assist you.
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