The desire to buy property in London remains strong and the market is fast-moving. Our London estate agents have some good stock coming onto our books and we have very motivated sellers who are keen to make their next move. This will ease stock levels a little over the coming weeks however realistically we don’t expect the impact to be significant and property shortages will remain a challenge.
Demand is strong across London – from apartments in residential developments such as Imperial Wharf in West London to Canary Wharf in East London, spreading to suburban areas as Londoners continue to move out to Zone 4 and beyond, to find the space they need. The residential property market does quieten down in July and August as buyers and sellers take a summer holiday. But activity picks up significantly in September and we’re pleased to be taking on these new instructions so we can replenish stocks ahead of the autumn.
So far, increasing interest rates and the rising cost of living are not having a noticeable impact on demand. After all we are a nation of homeowners and other financial constraints tend not to reduce our desire to own our own home. In fact, as the cost of borrowing increases, many buyers are keen to push through their purchases as quickly as possible, before their mortgage offers expire and they are forced to lock into a mortgage interest rate notably higher than their previous one. In many areas, this is bringing a real sense of urgency to the housebuying process.
Many of our current ongoing transactions are not part of a chain – some buyers are first-time buyers or have already sold their previous property, ready to move up the property ladder, while some are downsizing and are also ready to move quickly. Of course, the lack of a chain simplifies the buying/selling process enormously.
Realistically, the increasing cost of borrowing and the wider economic backdrop may dent confidence and cause buyer demand to cool later in the year, albeit gradually. Yet even as new homes come onto the market, stock levels are unlikely to rebalance the scales sufficiently so we expect property values to remain buoyant over the next few months.
Houses continue to be extremely sought-after across London and throughout all zones and we desperately need more stock. The ‘race for space’ both inside and out, remains a real trend and if budgets allow, a house is a priority. The current shortage of houses means that they usually sell very quickly. In fact, we recently had a house for sale in Surrey Quays and carried out 17 viewings over three days. The offers we then received were over the guide price.
High numbers of sales being agreed across the country have led to overwhelming demand for professional property services as buyers and sellers aim to push through their sales before mortgage interest rates rise. Surveyors and solicitors and in extremely high demand and the conveyancing process is currently taking three to four months, and in some cases up to six months, much longer than usual.
While domestic homeowners and investors continue to be the driving force in the London property market, we are seeing overseas buyers returning gradually. We are currently helping a number of Indian clients with their property searches as well as buyers from Singapore, Hong Kong and South East Asia generally, through our international teams. Current projects that are proving to be popular for long-term rental investment are The Green Quarter in Southall, Clarendon in Hornsey and the latest phase at Beaufort Park Colindale.
We’re starting to see notable increases in value in prime London property values now. In fact, many homeowners are seeing the value of their property rise by several hundred pounds a day. Much of this is driven by demand from overseas buyers, now that Covid travel restrictions have been lifted and these buyers remain keen to buy either a first or second home in the capital.
We’ve just carried out some detailed research on property prices in prime central London and you can read our full research results at: Prime property values increase by as much as £808 per day over the last year
In this fast-moving and complex property market, an experienced and knowledgeable estate agent is invaluable. Buyers and sellers benefit from an expert who knows local areas of London well and can advise on how to efficiently manage the sale and purchase process in a competitive market with the added complications of the current shortage of professionals such as solicitors and surveyors.
Please get in touch with our London branches or our international offices to discuss any requirements you have or for a free market appraisal of your London property – we cover all areas of London. With swelling waiting lists of buyers in many locations, we are urgently seeking stock to meet demand.
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