January 2020 Newsletter

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

Where is the market at?  We do get asked this question daily. Our observation is that the number of buyers has increased significantly since the December election and we are now starting to hear again of “best and final bids” rounds, “sealed bids” scenarios, and even, dare we say, gazumping. For the first time since 2016 we recently experienced a same-day attended exchange to secure a property for a client.  This climate is made worse by  the increase in buyers not being matched by a corresponding increase in vendors.

Hammersmith : less Volvo, more Ikea – One of the many trends we have observed over the past 20 years is the declining interest of the younger generation in owning cars. As a result, traditional out-of-city-centre retailers like Ikea are now having to come closer to their consumer base. Hence the announcement that Ikea has bought Kings’ Mall, a shopping centre in Hammersmith in need of TLC. This is Ikea’s first UK venture into city centre stores.  Ikea is planning to make this a 21st Century retail space, mixing social spaces with retail, food, housing and hospitality. (PW)

Olympia redevelopment – Staying in West London, the £1Bn redevelopment of the 1890 exhibition centre is underway, planned for completion in 2024, and will include a 1500 seat theatre, a 1000 seat performing art centre, a four screen cinema complex, a jazz club, a couple of hotels, offices and of course the existing two, revamped exhibition halls.  With very little provision for car parking, public transport will be key to bringing people to use the significant new facilities. (OB)

Notting Hill – House prices in Notting Hill gained 1.4% in 2019, the only one of the 12 prime central London districts tracked by Savills to record a gain over the period. Compared with their peak in 2014, prices are still 17.6% lower. But whilst in 2014 Notting Hill accounted for 5% of spend on homes over £2m in prime central London, it now accounts for 9%. (FT)

River views on the South Bank – With Southbank Place by Waterloo now close to completion, there really is a continuous string of desirable “new build” blocks along the South Bank all the way from Shad Thames to Wandsworth. Some of the blocks are now almost 20 years old whilst others are still being sold off plan, making it rather challenging and time consuming to identify the blocks and understand their differences. The latest developments offer the best in interior design, gyms, swimming pools and cinema rooms but it is important to understand how the block will age and how well will it be managed. Will it still be a desirable block in 10 years? Will it immediately depreciate like a new car? There is also the issue of what will be built around the block, will the great view you have paid for disappear within years, as another 20 storey block is built next door?  (JW)

The promises of the Old Kent Road – The Old Kent Road, in South East London, and surrounding  neighbourhoods  form one of the last large-scale London redevelopment areas. Leveraging the rise of Peckham and Bermondsey, the extension of the Bakerloo Line (planned for completion by 2029) and the “linear park” along the long-gone Grand Surrey Canal, the project will deliver about 20,000 new homes over the next 10 years, of which 7,000 will be classed as affordable. (FT)

Tax change on buy-to-lets or second residences – From 6 April, any UK resident selling a second residence or a rental flat will only have 30 days after the completion of the transaction to submit a one-off Capital Gain Tax return to HMRC, as opposed to the current regime allowing investors to submit their capital gain calculations within their standard yearly returns, up to 22 months after a completion. This is a significant change.  Other changes coming into effect from 6 April include the phasing out of some tax reliefs. (FT) 

The green wall decade – A feature of the twenties is going to be the increasing number of green walls appearing on facades of new and renovated buildings. One such green wall, at 61-65 Holborn, has been given planning.  Covering nearly 40,000 sqft of a 11-storey new building, it is planned to generate seven tons of O2 and extract nine tons of CO2 annually (PW).

We very much hope that you find this update concise and informative. Please do feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss any aspect of the London property market.



Jane Wood
Founding partner