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February 2019 Newsletter

Here is our latest round up of the current talking points in the London property market.  

Watchlist:

Marble Arch and Edgware Road are rarely talked about in terms of being “go to” destinations when looking for a place to live. Even though just a block either side of the Edgware Road, you find yourself in the middle of gentrified Connaught Village or the portered mansion blocks of George Street. This is all set to change as the old Odeon cinema at the south end of the road is being developed into Marble Arch Place, an 18 storey high end block. With amazing views of Hyde Park the penthouse will come to market at £66m. At the northern end of the road, there are also two new developments due to complete soon: West End Gate and Lyons Place.   (FT)

Bethnal Green bucks the trend as average prices have risen 7.7% in the last year. With its close proximity to the City and hip vibe approximately 70% of sales have been to first time buyers. Although first time buyers, many have help with financing from their parents, a trend we see with our own client base. (FT)

Rental Yields on prime central London property have steadily increased for the last 6 quarters. Q4 2018 saw average figures at 2.99% up from 2.69% in Q2, a more than 10% increase. (Lonres)

Olympia London’s £1bn redevelopment project has been approved by Hammersmith & Fulham Council. Work on the project is set to commence next year, with the first tenants expected to move in by 2023. The venue will house a 1,500-seat theatre, a 1,000-seat performing arts venue, two hotels, a four-screen cinema, and a 200,000ft² logistics centre. The project will also have 670,000ft² of creative office space, including new co-working space. It is expected to radically improve the appeal of the whole area. (JW)

How to Avoid Airbnb Problems – More and more we have clients asking us to find flats that can be rented out on a short-term basis, the explosion of Airbnb in recent years has caught the attention of many landlords. However, it is important to be aware of the basics:

· Short-term renting is allowed for a maximum of 90 days in a calendar year. Any owners seeking to rent out their home for more than 90 days in a calendar year must have planning permission from their local authority, as this is considered a material change of use;

· For leasehold and share of share of freehold properties it is important to avoid potential breaches of the lease. Last year a London based leaseholder was found to be in breach of the terms of his lease after renting out his flat using Airbnb. There a handful of blocks that specifically allow short term lets but many do not;

· Check any mortgage agreements that you may have. Some terms do not allow letting, others need consent and others look at it on a case by case basis;

· Check the terms of your buildings and/or contents insurance, short term letting can invalidate your policy; and

· Fire safety laws apply to owners if anyone pays to stay in their property, and relevant existing legislation (such as health and safety requirements) also covers properties being rented out on a short-term basis. (MW & HomeAway)

Numbers:

There are 303 diplomatic properties in London, representing 186 different countries. The majority are clustered around Belgrave Square and the area close to Buckingham Palace. Embassies are considered sovereign soil even in if the freehold is not owned by the country residing there meaning that as a landlord you have absolutely no control, even if rents are left unpaid. (PW)

The Market:

The boroughs of Islington, Richmond upon Thames and Haringey were among the boroughs with the highest house price and rental growth in 2018. The “Hot 100” report revealed that Islington has knocked Camden off the top spot for annual average house price growth with a 7% increase. This was followed by Richmond upon Thames (5.7%). (CBRE)

We very much hope that you find this update concise and informative. However please do let us know if you would rather we did not send this to you.

Regards,

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Jane Wood
Founding partner