With the Stamp Duty holiday well and truly behind us we are seeing little sign of the current demand for residential properties in London slowing down. In fact, the market is gathering pace and we expect this to continue at a similar rate into next year. Many buyers have been keen to avoid the frantic rush to beat the Stamp Duty deadline and are only now looking to make a move now that the dust has settled a little. Higher property prices in London mean that the Stamp Duty holiday never held the same importance as in other areas of the UK. And as a result, the market has remained steadier this year, with momentum building gradually. Even a small rise in interest rates is unlikely to affect the desire from both owner occupiers and investors to gain a foothold in this buoyant market.
Life returning to normal
Many people are now returning to their London lives, having left the city last year to work from home, and we are also seeing the return of overseas investors. So property prices in London are now increasing; the UK House Price Index showed that the average price of a London home increased 5.6% in August 2021 – that’s a remarkable £28,000.
And this gradual return to ‘normal’, both in our professional lives, our social lives andour return, at least in part, to the office, means that many domestic buyers are feeling more confident, keen to pick up the life they are used to and wish to return to.
So there is good reason to expect that investment activity will continue to grow too.
Demand from overseas investors continues to grow
The easing of travel restrictions means that overseas buyers are now able to consider travelling to the UK to view properties again. For the last eighteen months, many have been viewing properties only by video tour and when demand for rental properties in London dropped significantly, many considering a buy-to-let property lost confidence in the market and held back. But now, with the rental market booming and a severe shortage of rental properties due to much increased demand, confidence is returning.
We are seeing more interest now from buyers worldwide; international investors are viewing properties in person for the first time in over 18 months. We’ve recently been accompanying many international buyers, including investors from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Kenya and India, on their first property tours for a couple of years.
And interestingly, these are often not for ‘pure’ investment purposes – ie buy-to-let. Often, the property is for use as a pied-a-terre in London or for adult or student children to use if they are studying or working in London. After a busy summer we would normally expect demand to slow down a little as we move into the autumn, but this year enquiries are increasing rather than slowing down.
If potential buyers do not know exactly where they want to buy, they will have been doing their research from home over the last few months and are now ready to view properties in person. But the lack of supply and the fast-moving market means that our support in helping them assess possible locations is invaluable.
Enquiry levels growing for properties across London
With a team of estate agents across London, our sales professionals are finding demand high across most locations. Our Imperial Wharf sales team has received offers on three properties in the last week alone while our Wapping branch is also very busy, as too are our sales team in prime central London. So it is impossible to highlight certain areas – interest is growing across the Capital.
Sales success for our team at Beaufort Park in Colindale
Our estate agency in Beaufort Park Colindale has also been extremely busy, with Rightmove recently announcing it to be the top selling estate agent in London NW9. From January to September 2021, our local negotiator Thomas Grossi sold 24 properties in NW9, far outperforming other estate agents in the area. To read more about the growth of Beaufort Park over the last 15 years and the investment potential for buyers at the development, read our blog.
North London apartment building for sale set to achieve 4% rental yield
Also in North London, we have just been instructed as sole agent to sell 14 apartments at a new-build in Whetstone, North London. These flats are currently all let out on Assured Shorthold Tenancies and the building is being marketed as a rental investment for £5,000,000 – this would achieve a 4% rental yield for the buyer based on the asking price. This is exactly the type of investment opportunity that professional investors are now pursuing again, in response to the extraordinary current rental demand in London.
Prime central London market
In prime central London, interest in high-end homes has remained relatively static over the last six months but there are signs that demand is returning, particularly now that travel restrictions are easing. As a result, the prime London market has seen a 5.8% increase in buyer demand for homes listed at £2m+ and a 1.8% increase across the £10m+ market.
More information and commentary from our directors about London residential property market can be found on our press page.
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