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The perfect property storm gives London sellers & landlords just another few weeks…

Tue 01 Nov 2016

2016 has been an interesting year in the London property market; the introduction of a second home tax, continued record-low bank rates, and of course Brexit, have all played their part, and the impact can be seen clearly when crunching the numbers. Now the busy Autumn lettings season is in full swing, time is slipping away for Londoners looking to be settled into their new homes in time to celebrate Christmas.

An unprecedented number of buyers acted to avoid the additional 3% stamp duty on second homes, introduced on 01 April 2016. This caused buyer demand - and sales activity - to peak in February and March this year. To put this into perspective, Marsh & Parsons worked with its highest number of buyers in these months and transactions were our highest on record!

Why am I highlighting the sales market in lettings market commentary? Without a doubt, thousands who purchased in these months were buy-to-let investors and, as a result, savvy landlords brought many of these newly acquired properties to the lettings market throughout the peak summer period. In August, we let our highest number of properties for several years. This was met with equally unprecedented tenant demand; we also registered our highest number of tenants on record. It seems that while Brits were winning gold in Rio, the lettings market was London’s main event in the property industry.

For property owners who have held back, or missed the summer market and are now considering the prospect of receiving rental income over the festive period, there are just seven weeks until the big day… so the next few weeks are crucial. Fortunately for Landlords, the number of tenants we registered across prime London in October was up 20% on 2015. That said, despite many of these tenants having already moved, including several tenancies agreed to move within just one week, many are still actively on the market in search of their next home. We’re also experiencing a trend from both landlords and tenants wanting 18-month leases, as they seek to avoid having to arrange a move next Christmas.

With enough going on at this time of year, the last thing you want is a nerve-wracking move, but we believe it’s a simple matter of planning. Take a look at our top tips for landlords to prepare your property to let, and consider your rental market appraisal in the coming weeks. For tenants, these top tips will stand you in great stead as you set out to find your next place. One more, though, is remembering to clearly label your Christmas decorations box!

If you are interested in letting out your property, book a no obligations lettings valuation here or call our property management team on 020 8846 2350.

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