Shortages of property for sale in London is continuing with the number of properties for sale still historically low, with apartments in particularly high demand, both from owner occupiers and buy-to-let investors. The scarcity of properties and rise in the number of potential buyers, is causing property prices in London to grow at their fastest rate since August 2016. According to Rightmove’s latest House Price Index, house prices have risen across all London boroughs with the average asking price now hitting £677,000 – a 6.6% year-on-year increase.
Across our nineteen London branches and our international offices, we’ve also seen demand increasing over the last few weeks, including over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, which has been our busiest ever Bank Holiday for buyer registrations. Local footfall to our branches is also up by 9%.
We have been receiving offers and agreeing sales on properties across London as buyers prioritise their house move over other considerations. Most are keen to secure a mortgage deal as quickly as possible before any possible interest rate rises or being gazumped.
This increase in market activity is driven by the norms of returning to City life; the return of domestic professionals to their offices, wealthy overseas buyers being able to travel and the re-opening of cultural attractions. A key challenge for us remains the lack of stock, and as ever, we are very keen to talk to sellers about new instructions as we have so many buyers registering with us at the moment.
New homes in residential developments continue to be hotspots for many buyers looking for a high specification home and great facilities. And of course, many are situated at the heart of areas undergoing dramatic regeneration – so amenities and transport links are usually excellent.
At Beaufort Park in Colindale, demand is exceptionally high and apartments here are selling almost immediately. Many of these are second homes, not brand new and they offer fantastic rental potential as most already have a pedigree rental history providing good yields and income. We desperately need more stock here to satisfy the overwhelming demand here. Buyers range from international investors to local professionals, from owner occupiers to buy-to-let investors and Hong Kong BNO Visa holders who having rented here for several months, are now looking to put down roots.
Other residential developments where demand for apartments is exceptionally strong are other major schemes where we have an estate agents branch on-site such as White City Living in West London W12, Nine Elms Point SW8, Imperial Wharf in Fulham and Royal Arsenal Riverside in Woolwich. Demand is also increasing in Canary Wharf and Surrey Quays, as professionals look for homes closer to their place of work to ensure a shorter commute.
The limited stock available in prime central London means that properties are selling faster than they have in the last 12 months even in locations such as Kensington and Chelsea where our local branches are seeing an acute shortage of properties for sale.
The last couple of years have been difficult for overseas investors which have traditionally formed a considerable part of ownership in the central London property market and the pandemic really dampened demand. But now that UK travel restrictions have been lifted for most of us, we are seeing the return of wealthy investors looking to expand their portfolios and receiving good offers again. Some countries still have stricter restrictions than the UK, so while interest from overseas buyers is growing, there are still some challenges!
While property prices in London are undoubtedly pushing up, a realistic market valuation remains essential and accurately priced properties will sell quickly. Value for money is as important as ever, even in this competitive market. We urgently need new instructions across London to meet growing demand from homebuyers and property investors. Get in touch to arrange a free, no obligation market appraisal of your property, you might be surprised at just how much we can achieve.
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