London is experiencing a real surge in demand for homes, as buyers take advantage of the current Stamp Duty holiday as well as historically low interest rates, both of which are contributing to the current boom in activity in the housing market.
With pent up demand increasing during lockdown, the last few weeks have been exceptionally busy for us with interest building in the capital’s new residential developments and soaring enquiry levels from buyers. The number of valuations we are carrying out on behalf of sellers is also increasing significantly, with many more properties now coming to the market. Across the board there is a dramatic upturn in enquiries from investors and homeowners.
In particular, properties priced at up to £600k are flying out, as they offer such good value for money. And most properties are achieving much closer to asking price than they were, even just before lockdown, as the Stamp Duty holiday is creating a real sense of urgency to complete purchases before the March 31st 2021 deadline.
The lockdown has had a noticeable effect on the type of property that buyers are viewing. Many are now looking for something different – usually with more internal space – perhaps another bedroom which can be used as a workspace. Outside space is also becoming more important – a patio, terrace or balcony – in case we see another lockdown in the future. And these considerations apply whether the buyer is an investor looking to rent out the property or a homeowner planning to live there themselves.
Overseas investors are accounting for a lot of this increased activity. Many international buyers are returning to the UK property market, particularly investors from Asia – Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong. The weakness of sterling continues to be a real advantage for these investors, who are finding that London property offers exceptional value right now.
Political unrest in Hong Kong is having a real impact on Hong Kong buyers. UK Home Secretary Priti Patel recently announced changes to immigration laws, meaning that Hong Kong citizens will have the right to work and study in the UK for up to five years and may eventually be able to seek British citizenship, prompting a surge in demand from Hong Kong citizens looking to invest in London.
Often they are buying a property in London as an investment initially which they will rent out at first, but with a view to using the property as their own home in the future, depending on how the situation in Hong Kong evolves. Many have already discussed investment plans with friends and colleagues and as a result of their recommendations are enquiring about popular developments such as Nine Elms and Fulham Reach, as well as Canary Wharf generally – all of these are already well known investment opportunities amongst overseas buyers.
Other popular locations include Beaufort Park in Colindale where rental yields of up to 5% can still be achieved, while brand new developments in areas experiencing major regeneration such as Clarendon in Hornsey, N8 and The Green Quarter, are also attracting a lot of interest.
With such a lot of activity in the housing market right now, we have new opportunities coming in every day so whether you are looking to buy or sell a property in London, get in touch with me to find out how we can help you.
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