The North West London property market remains buoyant, despite wider economic uncertainty and a backdrop of soaring inflation, the cost of living crisis and interest rates gradually creeping up. Hampstead, Highgate and Dartmouth Park are so highly sought-after that these areas have their own property ‘micro-climate’ and demand usually remains strong, whatever is happening in the wider world.
A shortage of stock remains our most pressing concern. Many people have bought properties here over the last couple of years – between Covid lockdowns – but there is still considerable pent-up demand and not enough properties to meet this. Many Londoners are looking to move here in search of open green spaces such as Hampstead Heath, Primrose Hill and Highgate Wood, as well as stunning architecture, excellent schools and a strong sense of community.
The current imbalance between buyers and sellers is pushing up for sale prices and we are now seeing some properties go to best and final bids. However, accurate pricing in line with market conditions remains essential to attract serious intent. As the busy summer season gets underway, compounded by the chronic lack of stock, we urgently need new instructions from homeowners.
Increasingly, buyers are looking to find a home for the long term, keen to put down roots in a beautiful area with a great sense of community. Buyers are a mix of residents already living locally – in Hampstead, Highgate and Dartmouth Park – as well as professionals moving to London from other parts of the UK.
With many families looking to upsize, larger family homes and large garden flats are selling well, with gardens and space to work from home remaining a ‘must-have’. For some properties, we are receiving competing bids from buyers causing understandable frustrations for those who are losing out on a purchase. Frequently, these larger, well-presented properties are selling for above the guide price.
In Highgate, a house we are marketing in Priory Gardens has had 23 viewings within the first 2 weeks and we already have offers at the asking price and we will be going to sealed bids on this too.
Homes with off street parking are sought-after and achieving a premium, the rapidly growing trend towards electric vehicles means that many buyers are now specifying outside space or a parking space so they have somewhere to install an electric charging point.
We have some truly exceptional properties in Hampstead at the moment. Some may need refurbishment but increasingly this is a real draw for buyers, giving them the opportunity to buy a rarely available period property, while at the same time allowing them to design a spectacular interior that really reflects their own homestyle and personality.
For example, we’ve just been instructed on a stunning five bedroom home in Hampstead Garden Suburb (guide price £2m) that has come onto the market for the first time in nearly 50 years. Designed by the renowned architect T L Dale, the home was built in 1909 and is packed with character. It needs some modernisation, but offers the buyer the opportunity to create a beautiful home to their own specification.
Nearby, in Hampstead Village, we have another fabulous property, a Grade II listed, Georgian house that, after some updating, will be a stunning home. Located in Benhams Place, the two bedroom property (guide price £1.2m) was built in 1813 by William Benham in one of the most peaceful lanes in Hampstead. Both these properties have come onto the market in the last two weeks and have been attracting lots of viewings – so demand is clearly high and buyers have been quick to spot their potential.
A move out of central London is still a priority for many, an ongoing change in priorities following two years of on/off lockdowns. And it gives the Hampstead and Highgate property market an extra layer of buyers – those currently living not too far away – perhaps in a small, central London mansion flat, who are now looking for something different. They usually want a new home with outside space, great schools, parking and nearby open green spaces where they can relax – yet still very close to their previous central London home. In fact, some buyers have told us that moving to Hampstead feels like moving to the countryside, they are of course, referring to the picturesque Heath which is Europe’s largest parkland space.
In Colindale, we continue to see strong sales activity at developments such as Beaufort Park, which is popular with local professionals and those working in central London. Buyers are drawn to the area for its good schools, amenities and high specification properties.
The development is increasingly popular with Chinese and Hong Kong professionals moving to the UK. This popularity is growing as those already living here tend to recommend the development to friends and colleagues beginning their property search when they move to London.
A clear indicator of the reputation of this part of North West London is the recent success of the latest phase of Colindale Gardens (from developer Redrow). Three bedroom properties in the new phase of the development were snapped up within two weeks – and 90% of these were bought by Hong Kong buyers.
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