The London sales market – March 2020

Buyers and sellers return to the market in force; coronavirus having virtually no effect on confidence

West London property explosion

We continue to see increasing confidence in the London property market, with quite dramatic upturns in both new valuations and the number of new buyers registering with us. We are extremely busy working with buyers and sellers at all levels of the property market. Demand is high for properties ranging from prime central London homes valued at up to £5 million to more affordable apartments in regeneration zones on the outskirts of London in Zones 3 and 4, which are being snapped up by younger buyers keen to take their first step onto the property ladder, often using the government’s Help to Buy Scheme.

Property sales volumes increase dramatically

Interest in buying properties in London is definitely increasing, despite the current threat posed by coronavirus. In fact, over the last three months we have carried out property transactions on behalf of clients to a higher total value than during the whole of the preceding 12 months. This is a clear indicator of the current strength of the market and the level of pent-up demand from buyers and sellers now being released since December’s general election and more recently the increasing clarity on Brexit.

Our research shows coronavirus currently having little impact on confidence

Of course, there are still uncertainties that could impact house prices this year. Coronavirus is the most obvious. But we have just carried out our own research regarding the impact of coronavirus and we discovered that 83% of home buyers and sellers are not planning to put on hold a house purchase or sale this year because of the virus. Buying a property is very much a long-term decision and this perhaps explains why the relatively short-term impact of the virus is not affecting people’s decisions.

After several years of uncertainty surrounding the London property market, homebuyers and sellers have already been adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach for some time and now there are such visible ‘green shoots’ of confidence, most have no intention of delaying any longer. Only 9% of people who took part in our survey and were already in the process of buying or selling, have decided to put their plans on hold while only a further 9% who were originally hoping to buy or sell this year are postponing their plans. And 69% of people stated that, even if COVID-19 becomes more widespread in the UK, they still would not allow it to disrupt their plans to buy or sell property.

The resilience of the London property market

UK house prices up 197% since the Millenium

Another piece of research that we carried out a few weeks ago explains why. Despite economic turbulence over the last 10 years, London has seen house price growth of 83% in the last decade and an increase of 308% since the start of the millennium. This is in spite of the 2008 financial crash which of course, slowed house price growth for several years. But as ever, due to the cyclical nature of the market, values are now bouncing back and exceeding previous market highs – a clear sign of the sheer resilience of the London property market.

New property instructions required urgently

With such a dramatic upturn in enquiries from buyers, finding enough good properties to satisfy increasing demand is our next challenge. We have waiting lists of potential buyers keen to buy homes throughout London, from period conversions in prime central London to new apartments in brand-new developments in East London, Battersea and Vauxhall, West London including Ealing, Brentford and Harrow, and North London including Beaufort Park.

If you are planning to buy or sell a property in London this year, please contact our sales team for a free valuation of your London property or to discuss current properties available for sale across the capital.

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About the Author

A board director since 2001, Marc oversees the company’s London rentals operation as well as marketing and developing strategies for new business. He has been instrumental in the company’s expansion, working closely with managing director Anita Mehra to develop its core services and frequently co-hosts property seminars for investors in many international locations. Read more about Marc von Grundherr here - Read full profile

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