Absolutely Notting Hill: In their own words
Tue 01 Jan 2013
Gareth Kelly, Associate Director atMarsh & Parsons.
How many people can say they genuinely love their job? That they know every day will present a new set of challenges? And that they will met different and interesting people every working day? I may be in the minority, but yet, I definitely fall into this category.
When I embarked on my property career some 11 years ago, I knew I would enjoy being 'out and about', rather than sitting behind a computer screen all day. However, I never really expected to enjoy what I do quite so much. The journey of buying and selling property i daunting for most people and I think I speak for most estate agents when I say that being the constant in that journey, supporting buyers and sellers throughout the process, is very rewarding indeed. Of course, there are challenges along the way, and estate agents can very often be in the firing line, but when you exchange contracts, it's a great feeling. For the majority of people I work with, buying and selling their property is the biggest transaction of their lives - so it's important to build a trustworthy relationship from the get-go.
I consider myself lucky to be working in th estate agency profession - but I consider myself even luckier to be doing it in one of the most exciting neighbourhoods, in one of the most excitin cities in the world. I've worked in Notting Hill for almost five years now and the longer I stay here, the fonder I become. The people I meet on a daily basis are interesting and varied, ranging from young couples wanting to buy their first home right through to local developers looking for a new project.
The architecture of Notting Hill is as exciting and varied as the people and amenities. One of my favourite properties on the market at the moment is a first floor flat on Stanley Gardens overlooking the beautifully landscaped private gardens. The high ceilings, the distinct period features, the stunning views and the fabulous location meant it is a 'ticks-all-the-boxes' gem for a lucky purchaser.
The 2012 property market was interesting, albeit unpredictable, largely due to the Olympics and Jubilee Celebrations. Now that life is back to normal, we expect a higher volume of sales in 2013. Despite a comparatively slower market, we saw average house prices increase by approximately 10%, a healthy capital gain for home-owners in the Notting Hill area.
The spring market started incredibly strongly and we are anticipating the same for the 2013 property market, although without quite the same price hikes. Interest rates are likely to stay low, global uncertanties will continue and with an average of 13 buyers currently chasing every property on the market, competition will sustain house prices. This, along with restricted space for new building development in prime central London and in particular Notting Hill, will contine to challenge the buyer/property ratio. When you also consider the growing demand from both domestic buyers and international investors wanting a piece of the Notting Hill action, London will maintain its reputation as a safe haven for hard-earned money.
With this in mind, I believe there will be a more modest and natural climb in house prices of approximately 5% throughout the year, with much of the growth taking place in the first half of the year. Needless to say, I am looking forward to an exciting and prosperous 2013.