How long will the London housing market pause for thought?
There are a number of indicators that the pre-Brexit, pent up buyer demand for London property is shortly to be unleashed. Chestertons’ Winter 2018/19 London Residential Property Market Report asserts that the “bottom of the market may be in sight,” while the rate of decline in the capital’s sales prices have slowed. Indeed, demand at the prime end of the market bounced back during the latter half of 2018.
“We’ve seen many buyers – both owner-occupiers and investors – taking a ‘wait and see’ approach in London as the Brexit deadline of 29 March approached. However, the delaying of that date to 12 April – and the 31 October – is testing purchasers’ patience. Add in the prospect of prices in London bottoming out and we could see a swift and decisive rise in transactions over the coming weeks and months.”
Prices in London fell during 2017 and again during 2018. Given the ongoing political impact of Brexit on sterling, this has made for some interesting opportunities for overseas investors. With indications that the market is bottoming out, many investors will now be looking to snap up properties at bargain (for London) prices while they have the chance.
At the same time, it’s likely that many of those waiting to buy property for their own use will also act in the coming weeks and months. As Brexit looks increasingly likely to drag on, many would-be purchasers may be prompted to act before London’s prices begin to rise too steeply again. As such, 2019 – or at least the latter half of it – could turn out to be a good year for property in and around the capital.
“Many property investment companies are looking closely at London again right now, as the market correction that has taken place over the past couple of years makes property ownership in the capital more attractive, particularly given the recent upward movement in rents and therefore yields. As such, London and the commuter belt certainly bear watching over the rest of this year.”
London’s property market is, of course, vast, as is the commuter belt that surrounds the city. Two areas likely to be of particular interest in the near future are Gerrards Cross and Reading, both of which offer a fast, direct commute into central London, as well as a good quality of life for the whole family. If the predictions of the market bottoming out and pent-up demand being unleased play out, it is likely that interest in both of these areas will spike significantly.
First Time Buyers, Brexit and Boris Johnson
An influx of deals agreed over the last several months will cause a substantial rise in House prices over the summer – according to new data from property experts Reallymoving and Rightmove.
Fuelled by past frustrations of political indecision, home buyers see the nearing deadline of Brexit as an essential milestone for establishing stability and future prosperity in the market. Investors encouraged by the light at the end of the tunnel now also see an opportunity to capitalise on exceptional value through buying in the last remaining months ahead of Brexit.
House pricing indexes forecast growth of upwards of 1.2% in August, followed by growth of 3.8% in September – marking a crucial turning point in the recovery of what has otherwise been a tough couple of years in the property market. (Reallymoving)
This Summer is also set to see renewed interest and appetite from overseas buyers with the promise of lower stamp duty and purchasing costs for home buyers and investors alike. The introduction of increased Stamp Duty in 2014 was arguably the leading driver in the 20% decline in property prices in areas of Central London in the following year; questions now linger as to whether the introduction of lower Stamp Duty will spark an immediate correction in house values and send prices soaring.
With the prospect of Boris Johnson in No.10 looking more likely than ever, Johnson’s condemnation of high taxation appears to be well received with investors drawn to the Country who have in the past been unmotivated by unattractive costs associated with investment.
“The spring market was more robust than expected and this has prompted positive growth through the summer, particularly for deals agreed in May which are translating to sales in July.”
A plan to cut stamp duty on home purchases in Britain may just be the boost needed by the slumping London property market and give first time buyers the opportunity to get on the property ladder across the UK.
“We have seen a spike in interest in commuter belt locations around the UK’s largest cities, London, Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle. With high sales in growth location sites such as Gerrards Cross, Luton and Digbeth. There is huge pent-up demand in the UK property market amidst the political unrest if the UK is able to agree a deal with the EU we could see a rush of properties hitting the market in the late autumn along with a surge in buyer demand..”