The London property market – what’s up, what’s down, experts’ predictions, the Brexit effect and Stamp Duty increases…
David Lee, Head of Sales, Pastor Real Estate
“Rather than placing their properties on the sales market this year, some of our clients are opting to let, taking a ‘wait and see’ approach. Recently, one of our clients decided that he would prefer to re-let his apartment for a second year running. Despite carrying out an exceptional renovation project in 2016, the owner explained that he wished to wait for the market conditions to improve before looking to sell. Due to the apartment’s position and condition, we were able to find a new tenant with relative ease for a strong price.
There is of course still a large number of clients who are more optimistic about selling. In recent months, we have seen the market adapt to the changes that have been imposed upon it over the last 18 months and strong interest for certain types of property has returned. For example, there are recent examples of apartments in Mayfair selling rapidly, particularly those that have been fully refurbished to exacting standards. Understandably however, these types of transactions are rarer than in previous years. Such properties must have a wow factor and match a long list of requirements. There is also an element of good fortune involved, whereby both seller and purchaser are ready to agree a price and have experienced solicitors on hand who are able to navigate their clients towards a swift exchange of contracts.
Overall, the Prime Central London market remains challenging; due in part to continued political uncertainty and the impact of increased levels of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). There is also a notable difference in the various types of properties that are selling and ultimately these sales are very much dependent upon correct pricing from the outset.
Overall, the Prime Central London market remains challenging; due in part to continued political uncertainty and the impact of increased levels of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). There is also notable difference in the various types of properties that are selling and ultimately these sales are very much dependent upon correct pricing from the outset.”
Mark Parkinson, Middleton Advisors
“The attitudes of buyers and sellers in the PCL market reflects the mood of the wider world – confused! In some instances we have experienced competitive bidding on properties once we have shown an interest and the market deems that the property has reached its resistance level in the market place. Rather like share trading, buyers sit and wait, watch the price come down and only when they have the comfort of another bidder, are happy to bid competitively. In the majority of cases though, the competition is short lived; i.e. competitors make one or at most two bids and then walk away if unsuccessful. Gone are the days of bidding ‘wars’ over a prolonged period, instead most negotiations last hours these days.
In other instances (particularly towards the top end of the market), the battle is not with other buyers but with the vendor’s price expectations! There is still strong confidence in, and competition for 2+ bed ‘family flats’ in the good streets – people see these as a good tradable investment that (in PCL terms) will not break the bank! There is most opportunity in the £4m – £10m family house market which is extremely short of buyers, but that does not make it easy pickings, as we have said before, finding a realistic vendor is the main battle.”
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