On the Market - Fulham, Spring 2013
Thu 25 Apr 2013
Alex Lyle looks at the increasing demand for property in Fulham across all price brackets, and explains why the Budget was good news for the housing market
In Fulham and the surrounding Parsons Green and Bishops Park areas, property prices have risen by up to 5% since the beginning of the year, where a lack of available property and increasing demand from buyers has helped to push these prices upwards. The ratio of buyers to property stood at 15.6 in January, rising to 19.4 in March however, with more property coming onto the market, this has now settled at 15.5. As such, we expect the recent price growth to stabilise in the coming months.
Competition amongst buyers is highest in the £1.5m to £2m price bracket, where buyers can get a 2,000sqft Victorian family house for less than £2m a rarity so close to central London. As a result, we are achieving record prices for these premium properties and the price per square foot is being pushed close to £1,100 in many cases. At the end of last year, we sold an unmodernised house on Clonmel Street, SW6 for £1.6m and last month we sold an almost identical house (admittedly it didnt need quite so much work) for £1.9m. The Munster Village is catching up with the rest of Fulham in terms of price per square foot we have just agreed a sale for a house on Wardo Avenue for £1.7m, within three days of it being on the market. The same house sold for £1.3m exactly two years earlier. This demand for good quality, family houses in the Munster Village and Bishops Park areas is at an all time high and to provide our buyers and sellers with the best possible service, we are opening our second office in the area, on Fulham Palace Road in early summer.
The £2m+ market has really stepped up since the beginning of the year. Although cautious, buyers are getting used to the increased stamp duty for property above £2m, and we currently have three properties under offer on the Moore Park Estate alone ranging in price from £2.5m to £3.6m. Interestingly, we have noticed an increase in the number of buyers moving from the SW5 or SW10 areas into Fulham, where they have more choice and more space for their money. There is also a shortage of property around the £500k mark and plenty of buyers, particularly for two-bedroom apartments with outside space. Within the first two days of marketing a two-bedroom duplex on Mirabel Road, we had 20 viewings and sold the property for the full asking price of £650k.
With Easter out of the way (a month earlier than last year), we are now entering a traditionally busy time for the property market across all prime areas of London. The buyer-to-property ratio is unlikely to change however, as more choice of property will inevitably attract even more buyers to the market. The recent budget has provided clarity for both buyers and sellers, and so, with a renewed sense of certainty, particularly with the absence of a mansion tax and no sign of a stamp duty hike to 7% for £1 million property, the sentiment in the market is more positive. A more penal stamp duty levy at £1m would have been bad news for the central London property market, especially as over 60% of property in Prime Central London is now valued at more than £1m.
In our opinion, the Budget in general, was good news for the property market. The Help to Buy Scheme will provide £130bn worth of mortgage support to buyers at the sub £600,000 level. Whilst this may not have a huge impact on buyers in Prime Central London, it will effectively rescue mortgage prisoners across London and the UK, who have been stuck in their current property, unable to move onto the next stage in their property-buying career. In turn, this will free-up much needed property for first-time buyers, which is depressing supply throughout the housing chain. The scheme will also provide buyers with up to 20% equity loans for new build properties, which we hope will provide confidence to house builders that a ready, willing and most importantly able market, are ready to invest in a much needed supply of new property.
Contact Fulham Sales Team on: T 020 7736 9822 E email@example.com
Sylvie Bahmanyar looks at demand from differing parts of the rental market and how landlords should go about securing the best tenants
Traditionally, demand for rental property in the first quarter tends to be cooler than the rest of the year. This is not to say the market is bad, it just means that landlords need to act smarter and use proactive, experienced agents with the knowledge to navigate through more challenging waters.
There were however, clear winners and losers in Q1. One and three-bedroom apartments were, and still are, in huge demand, many attracting competing offers within days, or sometimes within hours of coming onto the market. This has, in some cases, significantly pushed up rental prices. For example, three bedroom flats close to transport are consistently commanding a premium of up to 10% more than this time last year.
Two-bedroom flats on the other hand, were in over supply, mainly due to an influx of buy-to-let investors swamping the market. For years, two-bedroom properties have been considered the best rental investment, with the widest appeal, but some landlords have experienced a rental drop of up to 8%, compared to the same period last year. However, the basic supply and demand principle still exists, and as we move into the busier summer market, this demand has already risen. Well presented two-bedroom properties in sought-after locations will not sit un-let for long, especially if they have a garden and we expect prices to catch up again in the second quarter of the year.
In all areas of Fulham, the professional sharer appears to be the most represented type of tenant for flats. They are slightly more price sensitive, as they are more often than not, saving hard for a deposit so that they can buy their own property a few years down the line. However, there has been an interesting emergence of tenants who have resigned themselves to the fact that buying is currently an unrealistic option as prices rise. As a result, they are willing to pay a premium for a higher standard of living, foregoing any savings generated through a more frugal existence.
Since the beginning of the year, we have seen a 15% increase in the number of applicants registering with our Corporate & Relocation Services department. With rental prices in central London continuing to rise, families and young professionals alike view Fulham as a favourable alternative. Weve just let a beautiful family house on Waterford Road to four professional sharers working in the city; this house would have normally been snapped up by a family however, by clubbing together, young professionals recognise the benefits of renting a whole house in Fulham, rather than a smaller flat just across the border in the neighbouring Royal Borough.
Indeed since the Easter break, the house market has woken up. Keen to get ahead of the market and settle before the summer, families are starting to move. If children are in the mix, competition will get fierce over the next few weeks, with parents battling to get the right house, in the right street, which falls within the school catchment areas. In fact, weve just rented a large house on Rumbold Road to a family for two years, the key driver being Fulhams excellent schools.
Good tenants are now more savvy, and continue to look for value in the market. When pricing property, there is a fine line between asking just enough and too much and we make sure our landlords dont fall on the wrong side of that line! For reassurance, landlords should familiarise themselves with the competition and to attract the best tenants, they should present their property in the best possible light. If there is a damp spot, dirty windows or fused light bulbs, get these things fixed before putting your property on the market. First impressions count, so spending a few pounds will almost certainly increase the appeal of your property and attract the highest calibre of tenant.
If youre thinking of letting your property and want to achieve the best price, now is the time to act. Summer has a habit of luring tenants away from the thrill of a good property search, not to mention the strongest rental prices.
Contact Fulham Lettings Team on: T 020 7371 7748 E firstname.lastname@example.org