With just a few weeks to go until the country starts to get into the party spirit for the annual festivities, as predicted, at Vanet we are still experiencing demand for both sales and lettings, which we expect will run through to Christmas and the New Year.
As mentioned in our round-up last month, interest in London property is still keen. Sales for Prime Property above £2million may have been slightly tempered by the new stamp duty rates, but thanks to a larger proportion of sub-£2million properties that have perhaps not felt the full impact of those stamp duty raises, Canary Wharf and E14 in general has remained buoyant.
It has also been noted that the increased mortgage regulations have reduced the amount buyers can borrow against their salaries. This in turn may have an effect on house price growth for the last quarter of 2015 and into Q1 2016. An expected increase in the number of properties in the E14 and E16 areas over the next five years will see a consistent level of investment opportunity.
Mind the gap…
The recent announcement that Transport for London has earmarked many of its brownfield sites across the capital for re-development will also bring a considerable increase in the availability of properties in central London, and perhaps even start to mark the development of new Prime locations such as Southwark, London Bridge and even Oxford Circus. The organisation plans to build up to 10,000 new homes on sites across the capital, ranging from affordable homes to more exclusive properties in the Zone 1 areas.
Rental market – a strong future
Last month we also spoke about the steady increase in the number of building projects across the capital. This is good news for investors who want to develop a buy-to-let portfolio of properties. Smaller, one and two-bedroom apartments are still at the top of most people’s wish lists, and with the economy of the capital set to strengthen in the medium term, both short and long-term leases are highly sought after. Foreign investors are particularly keen to expand rental portfolios, to cope with the demand of a rising working population that is choosing to live in the centre of the city, rather than commute in from the outskirts.
Convenience and the cost of commuting are driving factors in workers looking for central London rentals, and the numbers of potential tenants is set to rise quite dramatically over the next five years. It is estimated that the City of London and Canary Wharf will experience a 6.3% increase in the number of workers by 2020, taking the workforce up to around 770,000 – all of whom need somewhere to live. The expectations are that demand for rental properties close to key employment centres such as the City and Canary Wharf will see a significant increase in demand as a result.
In before Christmas…
For anyone looking to buy London property, a fast process with efficient conveyancing and quick completion is essential. At this time of the year the mantra of buyers is ‘We want to be in by Christmas’, and for sellers the cash really needs to be in their bank accounts before the festive season gets underway. So according to experts, now is the perfect time to arrange a valuation or list rental opportunities.
Joel Brookes from property experts Vanet is encouraging both sellers and landlords to act earlier rather than later, to take advantage of the pre-Christmas rush. “It’s important to be decisive and set up viewings for potential buyers and tenants before the distraction of the festive season really takes hold,” he comments. “And to do that, it’s important to talk to property specialists who can offer a fast, efficient service. 90% of the time we generate an accepted offer within three weeks of a property coming onto the market for sales, and less than a week for lettings.”
It’s also important to get the right price, and not undervalue your property. “On average, we usually achieve 99% of the asking price of the properties we are instructed on,” says Joel. “We are also finding that rental values are stable and generating good returns at the moment. With businesses set to take on more employees in the coming months and years, our expectations are that this trend will continue well into 2016 and beyond,” he concludes.