The London property market - what's really happening out there?
The London property market was fairly uneventful at the start of this year, with few active buyers and a serious lack of good quality properties available. The past 3 months, however, have seen the market become a lot more interesting from everyone’s perspective.
Potential vendors, owner occupiers and investors alike are benefitting from low interest rates which has made mortgage repayments much more manageable. As a result, we’re seeing very little forced selling. This means that a lot of vendors are preferring to sit tight and hold onto their property, rather than put it on the sales market and consequently, supply of good quality new property is low.
At the same time, we’ve seen an increase in confidence with more buyers actively looking for a property. This has included a combination of overseas buyers who are enjoying a favourable exchange rate, as well as buyers who no longer want to hold off their search and are ready to move out of rented accommodation into a home of their own.
In addition, there has been a proportion of former home owners who sold their properties at the peak of the market and were in the enviable position of sitting on cash from their property sale. This cash, at the time, was earning good levels of interest which was effectively paying their rent and thus their cash pile wasn’t being eroded by rental payments. However, with their savings no longer earning good interest amounts, many of these tenants are now finding it more cost effective to buy again than rent.
All of this has contributed to the supply and demand imbalance we’re currently experiencing in the market, with demand from buyers but not enough supply of good quality property for sale. In some cases, this is resulting in multiple buyers per property and sealed bids returning to the market. This news, however, doesn’t seem to be filtering through to potential vendors just yet, although we’re hoping that this will change.
So, what would be my advice to buyers right now? Don’t be afraid of buying in this market – it’s a case of working hard to unearth the good property amongst the rest, and once you find the right property, make sure you’re organised and act quickly.
Jo Eccles is Director of Sourcing Property, an award winning property search and relocation company. They work for buyers and tenants across all budgets to find them the best property and maximise their budget. Jo is also widely regarded as a property expert and regularly features in the national press and on TV commenting on the London property market.
For further information call: 020 7244 4485 or visit: www.sourcingproperty.co.uk