What does 2014 hold for the property market?
It’s that time of year when people start trying to look into a crystal ball and predict what’s going to happen next year. There’s a lot of talk about prices only going up and warnings of a bubble. However, if you look at the market, it’s encouraging to see that it’s actually very well diversified in terms of the buyers out there.
Whilst each pocket of London is diverse and attracts different proportions of types of buyers, overall it does look fairly stable in that demand isn’t being driven solely by one type of buyer or nationality. Because house prices in prime areas of London have shot up so much, it has meant that we’ve seen a significant spreading effect across all peripheral areas, where Notting Hill buyers are moving to Maida Vale instead, or would-be Chelsea buyers are now looking in Fulham, and those who would be buying in Clapham are now moving to Balham and Tooting Bec.
With the shift of focus onto different areas, the makeup of buyers has changed, too. In all the areas I’ve mentioned, we’re seeing a whole mixture of buyers ranging from professionals buying their first property, young families’ upsizing (and perhaps buying their first marital home together), parents buying properties for their children, buy-to-let investors, and so on.
Within these groups of buyers, there are a variety of nationalities and domiciles. Our own client base at Eccord certainly affirms this; at the moment we have clients who fall into all of the above categories of buyer and we’re currently juggling clients based in 4 different continents, 7 time zones, and 11 different nationalities!
So, whilst prices are extremely strong and continuing to rise – even in the face of diminishing affordability – the diversification of buyer looks set to underpin this. If you are looking to buy in 2014, I wouldn’t pin your hopes on a crash anytime soon.
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