On the Market - Brook Green, Spring 2014
Thu 13 Feb 2014
Paul Price looks at local property prices and the major factors currently influencing property sales
2013 was our busiest year ever for selling property however, despite the increased number of properties coming onto the market, there was still a startling imbalance in the supply and demand, which now stands at an all time high of 33 buyers registered for every property on the market.
Improved mortgage lending and government schemes have ensured that buyer-appetite has returned and in the process, pushed property prices upwards by approximately 12% in the Brook Green area during 2013.
The flat market is dominated by high-earning young professionals, who are often relying on parental help. These purchasers have little hope of raising the required deposit, so are seeking the support from their parents who are happy to invest their money into a bullet proof, tax efficient investment.
Unlike our more central offices, where the majority of buyers are end-users, there is still a good amount of buy-to-let investors in this part of London. These savvy professional investors have migrated west from the Royal Borough, to benefit from greater short-term gains of a higher rental income as well as excellent capital growth, which exceeded even Prime Central London during 2013. We have also seen the return of developers in the last 12 months, who are sitting tight for the right opportunities. This is always a sure sign that confidence has well and truly returned to the market and healthy margins are achievable.
Life events such as births, deaths, marriages and divorce remains the driving force for properties coming onto the market, with those trading up invariably moving outwards to areas such as Chiswick, Barnes or even to the country. My advice to sellers in this market is to be cautious of estate agents over valuing their properties. Yes, in this market youll probably achieve more than you may have expected, but be careful not to be drawn into overly inflated price predictions by inexperienced estate agents. Buyers will not be fooled into overpaying and this temptation can lead to your property lingering on the market for too long and becoming stale. The result of which could mean missing out on the opportunity to get the best price in the current market.
Nearly 30% of the properties listed with our Brook Green office were sold by one of our neighbouring offices in Notting Hill, Holland Park and North Kensington. As a result our sellers continue to benefit from a shared database of buyers, who will invariably consider neighbouring areas if the right property becomes available, especially while there is such a limited number of properties on the market.
Looking at the year ahead, the biggest barrier to buyers will continue to be the lack of available property. This pressure may ease as more homeowners realise that making the next step up the property ladder will be easier than it has been for a number of years. However, my advice to all buyers, is to get your ducks in row before committing to the move so youre able to commit in a very competitive market. That said, this is my 10th year working in the west London property market and since 2009, this is the most excited I have ever been about the prospect of more people being able to secure finance and purchase their dream London property.
Contact Paul on:
T 020 7605 7763
Graeme Young looks at the profile of renters currently seeking property in Brook Green, Brackenbury Village and Shepherds Bush
Ordinarily, the start of a new year brings a typical surge of tenants and a greater number of available properties for tenants to choose from. This year has not been any different in terms of new tenants looking, which is also added to a good number of tenants who, unable to find the right property at the end of the 2013, decided to look again in the new year. However, whilst we still have a steady flow of rental property coming onto the market, we have not seen the usual increase expected at this time of the year.
Properties in Brook Green, Brackenbury Village and Shepherds Bush have all benefited from incredible capital growth in the last 12 months, and unsurprisingly, this has resulted in landlords deciding to let their current tenancies run their course so they can cash in on their assets. The slowdown in properties coming onto the market is in contrast to 2013, when tenants had the fortune of plenty of properties to choose from. As a result, we are advising tenants, who are now faced with greater competition, to readjust their expectations and act quickly when they see something they like.
With this in mind, I suspect rental values to stabilise or even possibly increase this year, following a dip in 2013. It may be too early to predict, but experience tells me that if conditions continue in this direction, then demand will outstrip supply, which will lead to bidding wars and properties renting quicker and for more money. This will not be an alien market for London-savvy renters, who will have experienced this market all too often before; but for those new to London, it will become a survival of the fittest - i.e. the most motivated, active and quick to make a decision!
One- and two-bedroom apartments have been in the highest demand this year, predominantly by couples with great budgets and in their mid-20s to early 30s. So far this year, 50% of the two-bedroom flats have fallen in the 400-450 per week price range and the other 50% in the 475-550 bracket - both price ranges are considered high for the area and style of property. Meanwhile, the house market has started the year with a steady stream of tenants looking for mid- to long-term tenancies. They tend to be families moving out from central London for more space or carrying out refurbishment works to their current property.
Desire to live in Hammersmith, Brook Green and Barons Court remains consistently high due to its proximity to four major tube lines, as well as the overground. Coupled with the fact that it is a competitively priced area (compared to neighbouring Kensington and Holland Park) with typically beautiful Victorian properties on picturesque and quiet streets, means that 29% of the tenancies we agreed in Q4 2013 were to tenants registered with our Holland Park, Fulham, North Kensington and Notting Hill offices. Shepherds Bush also increases in popularity every year due to its constant gentrification, Central Line access and relative affordability.
Our Corporate & Relocation Services team have reported a 16% increase in the number of new enquiries in Q4 of 2013, compared to the same period a year earlier. Corporate demand is buoyed by the huge amount of corporate businesses dominating the Hammersmith area, who are looking for accommodation solutions across the board, ranging from interns right the way through to company directors. As well as the usual suspects, we have also had enquiries from high profile companies, including Sudkabel, a German Cabling company, Freyssinet, an engineering firm working on the Hammersmith Flyover and we have even found accommodation for some of the cast of Miss Saigon!
Contact Graeme on:
T 020 7605 7766