We are still open for business for both new and existing clients:
- Steering through on-going transactions;
- Searching for opportunities for those with an appetite to enter the market; and
- Helping buyers who want to use this time to start the ground-work on their next purchase. We are busy discussing the pros and cons of various parts of London and the Home Counties; refining criteria by looking at specific property examples from our vast database of recent sales; and using online tours to view properties currently available.
8 July 2020 – Good news for property buyers – with the announcement today of a stamp duty holiday for all buyers. The holiday applies to the standard rate of stamp duty on amounts up to £500,000, irrespective of the cost of the property. This will represent a maximum saving of £15,000 if you spend £500,000 and more. For those buying a second residence you will benefit from the £15,000 but you will still have to pay the 3% higher rate that applies on top of revised standard rates.
The holiday applies from today until 30 March 2021. This temporary cut together with the additional 2% rate proposed for non-residents from next April (raised in March 20 Budget) means there is a big incentive for non-UK residents to buy before next April.
5 July 2020 – As viewings are increasingly back to normal and there is access to a wider range of properties we see the following trend:
- Best in class property at all price points are in demand and prices are holding up, in part due to the lack of stock
- This is true across period properties and the few new build developments in prime central London
- A much higher percentage of this best in class property is being found “off market”
- New build blocks just outside of zone 1 are suffering and prices are starting to fall, in part due to an over-supply
- Deals are taking longer to agree as there is a mismatch between vendors’ and buyers’ expectations
- Outside space, good views and greenery have become much more important
17 June 2020 – We are often asked by clients if we can access “off market properties”. The answer is – Yes we can! – 75% of the properties we showed to our clients on our latest property tour were off market. The last two deals we agreed were also off market properties. Post lock down we are seeing that many vendors are choosing not to list their homes on the open market and internet portals. In part, I think this is because vendors don’t want to run the risk of their property sitting on the internet for weeks, thereby devaluing it. However, in those areas where the market is brisk, we very much welcome these off market opportunities, our clients are getting to see prime property and agree sales, in some cases, with no competition.
26 May 2020 – With the vast majority of estate agents now open again, we are fully back up and running with our active searches. Using social distancing measures we can visit properties and take our clients out to see them. There has been a great number of enquires since the market reopened and we see good properties going under offer quickly. It remains to be seen how the market will react over the next 2-3 months.
15 May 2020 – Many estate agents will have their offices open from Monday 18th May, it would appear that the rest plan to re-open by Monday 1st June at the latest. Where offices remain closed, agents are working from home and are contactable by email and phone. Under social distancing measures we have started viewings again and it is a pleasure to be moving forward with our various client searches.
13 May 2020 – The government has announced that buyers and renters in England are now able to move house again, at the same time surveyors have been able to access properties since the beginning of the week. There is a new momentum in the property market and we are delighted that we can also start viewing properties again from today.
4 May 2020 – Figures published last week from Nationwide confirm the widely held view, that the property market had really started to pick up, pre lockdown. Annual house price growth edged up to 3.7%, the strongest since February 2017, no doubt a response to the general election and more certainty on Brexit. This supports the belief that there is still pent up demand in the market. In addition, last week Knight Frank announced that only one in five transactions agreed before the lockdown have fallen through.
23 April 2020 – London price predictions. With the major research departments producing their first stats since lockdown the story is as follows:
- Although buyer registrations are down, online searches for property are back up to pre-lockdown levels;
- With buyer enquires down, so are new instructions which means the relationship between supply and demand has not been hugely impacted;
- With pre-lockdown house prices increases being modest, low interest rates, mortgage holidays and government support, it is anticipated that house prices in London will fall by only 5 and 10% this year;
- The predictions then go on to show year on year increases from 2021 with the five-year growth prediction remaining at pre lockdown levels of 20%.
Best in breed houses and apartments have always been wise investments and no more so that at the moment, especially if we can help you negotiate upfront the anticipated market readjustment.
17 April 2020 – Supply increases. As the days under lockdown have grown, so have the number of properties we are being offered for sale, as many estate agents are now up and running with video tours. This means we can start to hunt for properties in earnest again and help you with your searches.
10 April 2020 – We predict pent-up demand once the market reopens for business. Savills moved its 26 March property auction on-line with remote bidding for the first time. The move proved to be a success with 67% of the lots selling. Although many were lower value offerings, 5 properties sold for over a £1m. Properties sold across the whole of London including Hampstead, Kilburn and Hackney. There are more deals being agreed than you may think. For those that are looking to find a property, it can be difficult to see a way forward with the property market seemingly at a standstill. There are vendors very keen to sell, meaning there are good opportunities out there.
2 April 2020 – Exchanged but not completed? If your property purchase has exchanged but not completed, government guidelines can make organising a move difficult. Our removal partners are open for business and giving quotes by video. Our connections with these companies means we can help facilitate moves in these difficult times and hopefully reduce stress for our clients!
Under offer but not exchanged? If you are under offer on a property but have still not exchanged contracts you may wonder how you should proceed. You should certainly be considering whether you should renegotiate on the price, and also consider whether you can obtain a better mortgage offer. We can help with both, ensuring a better investment.