Market Insights September 2020

Please see below our latest insight into the central London property market.

One of our key observations is how varied Covid’s impact has been on different locations, property types and price brackets within London.

There have been some clear winners and losers and the divergence of these is a stark reminder of London being a tapestry of different areas and demographics, which are driven by different factors.

We would be very happy to discuss specific areas, or any potential property plans you are considering with you or anybody you know with property needs. Please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Best wishes,

Jo Eccles
Founder & Managing Director

+44 (0) 20 7244 4482

The importance of pricing correctly

Rightmove released data earlier this month demonstrating if a property is priced correctly, it finds a buyer within an average of 21 days. This rises to 47 days however if the initial price was too high and has to be reduced.

Anyone participating in the property market right now is price sensitive and if you’re a seller or landlord, our advice is to be brave and price correctly.

The market has shown itself to be strong enough to create sealed bid situations if the price or demand for the property warrants it.

Where the price is too high, many buyers are choosing not to even engage.

For example, we were considering a large family house in Hampstead for a hedge fund client of ours, but the seller was so ambiguous about what price he would even entertain, we concluded the seller wasn’t committed enough and our client didn’t want to do business with him.

Instead, we focused on an alternative house which we agreed quickly and cleanly for a competitive price to a genuinely motivated seller. We are due to exchange next week.
We cannot emphasise enough the importance of good behaviour and mindful psychology during a property search and transaction, regardless of which side of the buying or renting fence you sit on.

This does not mean being meek and mild – quite the opposite – but it must be wrapped up with impeccable manners, reliability and a degree of carefully managed transparency, as this is crucial for accessing the best properties and persuading a seller or landlord to willingly accept a lower price than they otherwise would.

Large family house locations performing well

Some areas of London, such as Richmond and Barnes, have been hugely in demand as buyers and tenants make the most of being able to move further out of central London, without having to uproot schools and commit to a completely different way of life, which a home counties or countryside move would require.

A number of our clients have moved out of more central areas to leafier locations, to benefit from larger family houses with bigger gardens and shorter school runs, now that office commutes are less of a factor or anchor.

Some are renting to test run a new location before they commit long term, as are families who have just a few more years left of prep school and don’t want to incur a stamp duty bill for a short-term move.

Other very popular areas have been Notting Hill, Holland Park, St Johns Wood and Hampstead which have wonderful communal garden squares or large private gardens. Competition is fierce for best in class houses – to buy or rent – with stock levels dropping notably.

The off-market layer is still significant. For example, on one recent property tour with a client, just four of the ten properties we showed them were on the market – the other six houses we sourced off market or via the rental market.

Parents buying for grown up children to entice them back into London

We have seen an increase in parents buying for grown up children over the past weeks, in a bid to send them back to London. Many have spent the past six months in their parents’ country family houses, and there seems to be an increase in appetite from both parents and adult children to have their own space again.

Clerkenwell has been particularly popular and we have secured two properties there in the past eight weeks.

New build amenities being shunned in fear of second lockdown

Some tenants have moved out of large, lateral new build apartments, in favour of properties with private amenities.

During lockdown, many of the new build amenities such as swimming pools, gyms and cinema rooms were forced to close, and some tenants are now moving to houses with private facilities, just in case we have a second lockdown.

Is now the right time to be getting on the property ladder?

Jo Eccles being interviewed by the FT live on its FTNextGen platform next month

On Thursday October 22nd I have been invited to join George Hammond from the Financial Times and Richard Donnell, Research Director at Zoopla, to discuss is now the right time to get on the property ladder and how to invest in property.

“In the wake of a pandemic, with the economy in recession and the recovery unclear, is now the moment to put money into bricks and mortar? And if you’re thinking of doing it, what’s the best approach?”

Please do join us online in at 12:20pm on Thursday 22nd October:

How to Invest in Property:

As always, we are on hand to provide objective, impartial and award-winning property services and advice so please get in touch if you would like to discuss any element of the central London property market.

T: +44 (0)20 7244 4485