Our North-West London estate agents have been receiving some very good enquiries since early January and we expect demand to grow steadily throughout the month. After the exceptional levels of activity we saw in the first three quarters of 2022, this year we expect to see a return to the calmer and more stable market we saw before the pandemic.
We’re also starting to receive new instructions. The first of these is a maisonette in Kidderpore Avenue in Hampstead NW3 which is on the market for £2.35m, an instruction we received after we sold two similar properties in the neighbouring building.
We expect shortages of stock to continue this year – there is never enough stock in Hampstead, Highgate and Dartmouth Park, heritage areas for us, particularly houses and garden flats which remain in high demand.
With supplies limited, selling prices should remain stable. The area is a bit of a property bubble, insulated from what is going on in the wider world and house prices tend to be underpinned by the strength of demand here.
Most potential sellers are likely to hold out for close to their asking price and if they don’t achieve it they simply won’t sell. They’ll take their property off the market and wait and see what happens over the next few months. This should steady the market and ensure house prices hold up well in this part of North London.
We’ve been seeing increasing numbers of first-time buyers taking their first steps onto the property ladder over the last few months and this is a trend we expect to continue while the Stamp Duty incentive remains in place.
Rents in London are now at an all-time high and this is prompting some renters to look at buying their first home instead. Even with recent interest rate rises, buying can work out cheaper than renting – while securing a good rental property is becoming ever harder in a highly competitive market.
Affordability is likely to remain a key issue though and the market will be more price-sensitive than recently as buyers continue to look for value in the face of interest rate rises and soaring inflation. So realistic pricing will be key to ensuring a sale this year. As I write, interest rates look like they may be peaking, the jobs market is growing and oil prices are decreasing so we hope that the recent, added financial pressure on households will soon start to trickle back down to more normal levels.
We also expect to see fewer potential buyers viewing properties speculatively though, perhaps choosing to modernise or extend their current property instead rather than upsize. But, as ever, demand from those going through a change in personal circumstances will continue as people downsize or adapt to new circumstances either by marriage, divorce or changes in finances.
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In 2022, our Colindale sales team completed over 60 apartment transactions in NW9 and we expect demand for properties in developments such as Beaufort Park and Colindale Gardens to remain similarly high this year.
Demand from Hong Kong buyers should remain strong as personal circumstances and the decision to move to make a new life in the UK with the BNO visa scheme will remain a driving factor, therefore largely unaffected by interest rates or wider economic issues.
We also expect demand from overseas investors generally to strengthen, as many look to resume post-pandemic investment plans that had been put on hold and to take advantage of the weak pound and extraordinary rental demand in London.
As ever, our experienced sales team at our 19 London branches are on hand to assist with up to date market appraisals and will provide guidance on how to present your property to ensure it achieves its full potential. We would very much like to hear from anyone looking to buy or sell in the coming months in north or north-west London.
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