Lockdown has prompted many people to reassess what they want from their property purchase. Some Londoners are looking to move to a new part of the Capital, while others are looking for more space. Whatever the location, flexibility is more important than ever and a home now has to be multi-functional and able to quickly adapt to its owners’ changing needs – whether this is for working from home, home-schooling or simply having some outside space to enjoy.
Demand for residential properties in London remains good, driven by many people’s need to move to a new home that can adapt to these new circumstances. Affordability remains a key issue for many though so the price bracket up to £500,000 is still the busiest, accounting for the majority of transactions.
Both domestic and overseas buyers driving demand for properties
Domestic buyers are driving much of this demand, but overseas buyers are also active, encouraged by the continuing weakness of the pound, Stamp Duty savings and the desire to purchase before the additional Stamp Duty Land Tax surcharge of 2% for overseas buyers comes into force in April 2021.
We continue to see enquiries increase from Hong Kong buyers wishing to move to London following the UK government’s plans to grant Hong Kong BN(O) visas which launches in January 2021, allowing Hong Kong nationals to work and study in the UK for five years and eventually seek British citizenship. These buyers are looking for a safe haven for their money, but also a home if they plan to move here permanently.
At the moment, North West London appears to be very popular, mainly because there are strong Chinese communities already in this part of London. Some buyers are also looking to ‘try before they buy’ and are considering renting for one year and so we have been working with our lettings branches to accommodate those requests. The award-winning Beaufort Park property development in Colindale is a great option for individuals and small families. You can rent or buy here at affordable prices and anyone interested should contact us for further details.
Millbrook Park in upmarket Mill Hill, NW7, is another project attracting a lot of interest from overseas investors. Our Hong Kong office will be showcasing this outstanding scheme for its launch on November 21 & 22 at the Mandarin Oriental and will welcome any local investors who want to come along and meet us. To make an appointment can book here
Buyers reassess their priorities
For many of us, our homes have become a real sanctuary this year and this is unlikely to change. Finding the right home is more important than ever and this applies whether the buyer is a homeowner themselves or an investor who is looking to buy a property that offers renters a home that meets their needs.
Much has been talked about the way some Londoners are considering moving to the suburbs or beyond, looking for a different, perhaps quieter lifestyle. But there are still many professionals, often singles or couples, who love the buzz of living in central London and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
These professionals have good jobs in the City or central London and may work long hours, either from home or in the office. Increasingly they want to commute to work on foot, or perhaps by bike, but not on public transport. They may wish to push their budget by buying a property with an extra bedroom where they can work comfortably from home. They will almost certainly want some outside space, a balcony or a terrace, and they would like to be close to a park or other green space. The convenience of having shops and other amenities within easy reach is high on many wish lists now as many prefer a lifestyle where everything they need is nearby, without the need to travel too far.
Developments such as Nine Elms Point in Vauxhall, Beaufort Park in Colindale and Imperial Wharf in Fulham all meet these criteria and, being situated amidst beautiful, landscaped gardens, they offer buyers a great quality of life. So these are the types of development that we are finding popular with buyers and renters at the moment.
Beating the Stamp Duty holiday deadline
We expect the market to get busier as we approach the Stamp Duty holiday deadline next Spring and already some clients are reporting to us that they have been told to expect longer than usual delays for conveyancing, carrying out building surveys and local authority searches, due to the increased demand from buyers. In some cases, buyers are waiting 20 weeks to complete – the average is usually 12 weeks. So my advice to anyone thinking about buying a property soon, is to plan well ahead and ensure you can exchange before the March 31 deadline. Contact our sales office to discuss any requirements you might have.
View all posts by Philip Lingard