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Latest London Property News – January 2017

Market Overview

Buyers are currently faced with several factors influencing their decisions in the London residential property market – the two most discussed being Brexit and sterling. Ignore scaremongering – the London property market is still a good bet for international investors. Although Brexit is causing uncertainty, there are strong reasons to look to the London real estate market. Uncertainty breeds fear but fear can be an investors best friend. As Warren Buffett once said, “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful, an ethos that has served me well over the years”.

Of course, all investments have risks, and property is no exception, but there are good reasons why We think the London property market remains a good bet:
  • Lack of supply, and high demand – a situation that is unlikely to change any time soon
  • Infrastructure initiatives such as Crossrail 2
  • Existing market uncertainty means vendors are nervous and are more likely to accept below asking price
  • Mortgage rates are very low
  • Large corporations such as Google and Apple placed confidence in London by announcing their intention to build their European HQs here.
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) House Price Forecast 2017, which summarises UK market forecasts, points out that 83% of surveys say prices will rise or stay the same. Nationally, the average house price increase across all industry commentators is 0.9%. Outer London is expected to perform better than the national average, with Rightmove predicting an increase of 3%, largely because demand continues to outstrip supply. The London Prime market, however, is predicted to fall during 2017. Rightmove estimates a drop of 5%. MPC states that “where longer forecasts are given, it is interesting to note that although the housing market will take a hit in 2017, it is expected to recover relatively quickly.” “Once the market has recovered, London (as a whole) is predicted to have a higher annual rate of growth than the rest of the UK as per normal.”
Latest London Property News – January 2017

Prime Central London Data Report – Q4 2016

Each quarter we will provide some interesting and key findings for the main Prime Central London areas that we operate in. The data is compiled by a private and professional information provider called LonRes. The data is representative of most Central London estate agents who subscribe to it. For background information on each area, you can click on the link in the title to be redirected to our guides on the website. Marylebone – W1H, W1U, W1G
  • Average flat prices in Marylebone & Medical Territory are now 52% higher than they were 5 years ago, with buyers paying £567 more per square foot than they did 5 years ago.
  • Achieved prices per square foot have increased by 4.5% for flats over the last year, and have increased by 2.5% for houses.
  • 33.3% of properties sold in Q4 2016 sold within 3 months, compared with 24.5% for the rest of Central London.
  • Properties sold in Q4 2016 achieved an average price of £1,850,000 for flats and £4,007,000 for houses
Mayfair & St James’s – W1K, W1J, SW1A
  • Average flat prices in Mayfair & St James’s are now 23% higher than they were 5 years ago, with buyers paying £394 more per square foot than they did 5 years ago.
  • Achieved prices per square foot have decreased by 19.7% for flats over the last year, and have increased by 25.9% for houses.
  • 33.3% of properties sold in Q4 2016 sold within 3 months, compared with 24.5% for the rest of Central London.
  • Properties sold in Q4 2016 achieved an average price of £1,861,000 for flats and £9,900,000 for houses.
Knightsbridge & Belgravia – SW1X, SW1W
  • Average flat prices in Knightsbridge & Belgravia are now 10% higher than they were 5 years ago, with buyers paying £172 more per square foot than they did 5 years ago.
  • Achieved prices per square foot have decreased by 9.1% for flats over the last year, and have decreased by 5.7% for houses.
  • 29.5% of properties sold in Q4 2016 sold within 3 months, compared with 24.5% for the rest of Central London.
  • Properties sold in Q4 2016 achieved an average price of £4,039,000 for flats and £6,781,000 for houses.
Chelsea – SW3, SW10
  • Average flat prices in Chelsea are now 31% higher than they were 5 years ago, with buyers paying £364 more per square foot than they did 5 years ago.
  • Achieved prices per square foot have decreased by 5.6% for flats over the last year, and have increased by 3.5% for houses.
  • 22.6% of properties sold in Q4 2016 sold within 3 months, compared with 24.5% for the rest of Central London.
  • Properties sold in Q4 2016 achieved an average price of £1,630,000 for flats and £5,217,000 for houses.
South Kensington – SW7
  • Average flat prices in South Kensington are now 13% higher than they were 5 years ago, with buyers paying £207 more per square foot than they did 5 years ago.
  • Achieved prices per square foot have decreased by 0.3% for flats over the last year, and have increased by 11.7% for houses.
  • 38.5% of properties sold in Q4 2016 sold within 3 months, compared with 24.5% for the rest of Central London.
  • Properties sold in Q4 2016 achieved an average price of £2,248,000 for flats and £5,284,000 for houses.
Kensington, Notting Hill & Holland Park – W8, W11, W14
  • Average flat prices in Kensington, Notting Hill & Holland Park are now 34% higher than they were 5 years ago, with buyers paying £351 more per square foot than they did 5 years ago.
  • Achieved prices per square foot have increased by 3.5% for flats over the last year, and have increased by 4.5% for houses.
  • 28.6% of properties sold in Q4 2016 sold within 3 months, compared with 24.5% for the rest of Central London.
  • Properties sold in Q4 2016 achieved an average price of £1,512,000 for flats and £4,983,000 for houses.
Bayswater & Maida Vale – W2, W9
  • Average flat prices in Bayswater & Maida Vale are now 21% higher than they were 5 years ago, with buyers paying £210 more per square foot than they did 5 years ago.
  • Achieved prices per square foot have decreased by 3.5% for flats over the last year, and have decreased by 4.2% for houses.
  • 18.9% of properties sold in Q4 2016 sold within 3 months, compared with 24.5% for the rest of Central London.
  • Properties sold in Q4 2016 achieved an average price of £1,094,000 for flats and £2,519,000 for houses.
St John’s Wood & Regents Park – NW1, NW8
  • Average flat prices in St John’s Wood and Regents Park are now 46% higher than they were 5 years ago, with buyers paying £369 more per square foot than they did 5 years ago.
  • Achieved prices per square foot have decreased by 4% for flats over the last year, and have decreased by 8.4% for houses.
  • 26.1% of properties sold in Q4 2016 sold within 3 months, compared with 24.5% for the rest of Central London.
  • Properties sold in Q4 2016 achieved an average price of £1,184,000 for flats and £4,060,000 for houses.
St John’s Wood & Regents Park – NW1, NW8
Brexit and Article 50
The Supreme Court has dismissed the British Government’s appeal in the Article 50 case in preparation to trigger Article 50 for the country to leave the European Union. Brexit is the country’s landmark event of 2017. Or, to be more specific, triggering Article 50 is this year’s biggest influencer when it comes to the UK’s economy and politics. The latest ruling by the Supreme Court means that Prime Minister Theresa May will now need the parliament’s support to trigger Article 50. To ensure a smooth process, Brexit secretary David Davis promised to bring legislation before MPs “within days”, highlighting once again that the Government is still committed to its original timeline to kick off Brexit negotiations by the end of March. Since the case was first heard, a couple of other Brexit developments have happened, notably May’s landmark Brexit speech where she made her commitment to pulling out of the Single Market fairly obvious. You can listen to May’s full speech here via The Independent. Property investors can be divided into two groups:home investors and foreign investors. And although this is a worthwhile distinction to make, in most cases the biggest influencing factor when it comes to investing in property remains the same: the level of uncertainty that comes with an investment. The ruling on Article 50 was the first step towards removing some of this uncertainty. We can expect further clarity soon as the Government has promised an extremely quick turnaround to get the Bill before the parliament. For home investors, very little will change, especially considering the very quick turnaround the Government is hoping for. The recent decision has changed very little about the two basics of the country’s property market: a lot of demand and not enough supply. For foreign investors, there are substantial savings with weak sterling. This is a rare opportunity and likely to change once we have more clarity with Brexit. Although not every investor will agree with what the Prime Minister and her Government have set out to do, “fear-factor uncertainty” is slowly being removed from the process. Looking forward, the Government appears to have already started working on new trade relations and partnerships with countries outside the EU, manifesting Britain’s position as a stable investment location.
British Government
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