Demand for homes in London continues to grow and the market is getting busier. We are carrying out growing numbers of valuations and receiving new instructions daily, so our stock levels are increasing which is leading to more viewings with potential buyers. This increase in activity is now starting to translate into greater numbers of transactions completing. Our Director, Marc von Grundherr was interviewed by the Evening Standard recently and he talks about the mini-boom, you can read the article here.
There’s no doubt that the Stamp Duty holiday marked a real turning point in the residential property market and it’s playing a key role in the current upturn, as buyers look at this period as a real opportunity to cut their costs and get a good deal on their next property purchase.
The resulting increase in demand from buyers is leading to solid house price growth and is a clear sign that confidence is returning to London’s property market, both amongst domestic buyers and international investors. For further information on this, read our Quarter 2 Market Intel here.
A shift in perspective from homeowners
The recent Covid-19 lockdown prompted a real shift in values and it has led many people to reassess what they want from their homes and their investments. For those living in a small one bedroom apartment, a move to a larger apartment with a dedicated workspace may be on the cards. Some buyers are looking to move out to a leafier part of the London suburbs, perhaps close to a park, but this seems to be only if they have working from home flexibility. Even our lettings teams report that tenants priorities have changed in the rental market so this is not just affecting homeowners.
Whatever a buyer’s needs, many have found themselves reassessing their lifestyle during this extraordinary time and this shift in perspective is creating a sea change in the London property market.
Locations beyond central London such as Ealing, Colindale and Mill Hillare more popular than ever right now, not just for the long-term value they offer but because they are only a short commute into central London and are vibrant communities in their own right, with plenty of excellent amenities on site. Developments such as Beaufort Park, Dickens Yard and Millbrook Park are all selling well and are very popular with renters.
Looking for value
While we are currently seeing soaring demand for residential properties, buyers continue to exercise caution in terms of what they are prepared to pay for a property. Value for money is a priority so accurately priced properties are selling well but buyers are not prepared to pay inflated prices.
International investors a driving force in the market
For international investors, the weakness of sterling and low UK interest rates remain a driving force. Many overseas buyers wish to find a safe haven for their money and the UK remains a stable environment for investment, even in these uncertain times. So as the economy starts to pick up again post lockdown, confidence is building and investors are returning to the London property market in force.
Hong Kong investors have been very active recently; most prefer brand new apartments and Canary Wharf is a popular location for many. Apartments at 190 The Strand have also attracted a lot of interest, particularly with those coming to the UK next year on a BNO visa.
Most overseas investors prefer brand new developments but many developers have delayed planned launches over the last few months, and this, coupled with restrictions on international travel, has led to considerable pent up demand amongst overseas investors who now wish to move forward with their investment plans.
Foreign investors are also keen to secure a bargain so there is also the added urgency to complete on purchases before the 2% surcharge in Stamp Duty which comes into force in April 2021.
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