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London property market snapshot – buyers hold their breath

By Surrenden Invest | May 9, 2019

London property market snapshot – buyers hold their breath

It seems that prime central London property buyers are collectively pausing as they wait to see what the future holds in store. Figures from the LonRes research firm show a 14% drop in the number of prime housing transactions in the capital in 2018 compared to 2017. The steep fall means that transactions in prime London are now at their lowest level since 2008.

“Property buyers are holding their breath to see how Brexit unfolds, at least so far as central London is concerned. However, London is a vast city and not all areas are experiencing the same dip in transaction levels. With choice outlying areas offering good value for money, there are still benefits to buying property in London at the moment, despite the UK’s political upheaval.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest
Indeed, Foxtons reports that one result of the drop in transactions (and therefore new rental instructions) is that demand for private rented homes is outstripping supply at record levels, with nearly nine registered tenants for every new rental property.
The pace at which London house prices have outstripped salaries also comes into play, with the average deposit now 1.3 times higher than the average salary. Savills calculates that the average Zone 1 property costs £1.4 million. To secure a 75% mortgage, the buyer would need a household income of £247,484 per annum, along with a cash deposit in the region of £371,227. All of which explains why many of those who live in central London rent their homes instead of buying them.
Further out, however, London becomes much more affordable. The average property price in Zone 5 is £452,186, meaning that an annual salary of £75,364 and a deposit of £113,046 would be sufficient to fund the purchase of a home.
A number of commuter towns around the capital offer even better value for money, while direct rail connections make travelling into London perfectly achievable on a daily basis. It is areas such as these that are still generating a high level of interest from investors, according to the Surrenden Invest team.

“The commuter belt is big business right now. Buy to let property UK opportunities are alive and well in many parts of the capital and investors are continuing to seek out below market valuation properties that carry strong potential for capital growth. The high level of demand from renters means that the market still has much to offer to buyers who are careful about the locations in which they invest.”

Jonathan Stephens, MD, Surrenden Invest

To find out more about investing in and around London, as well as in other UK regional cities, follow the Surrenden Invest team on social media.

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