On the Market - Fulham, Spring 2014
Thu 13 Feb 2014
Alex Lyle looks at local property prices and the major factors currently influencing property sales
The 2013 property market in SW6 was defined by a limited supply of property for sale and a growing number of buyers coming to the market. This created the perfect conditions in which to sell your property, very often for a great premium, but conversely not the best conditions for buyers. As we move into the Spring property market, we expect prices to remain high, with some price increases, albeit not at the same rate as last year.
At the time of writing, we have just over 25 buyers registered for every available property - a ratio 61% higher than this time last year. With such an imbalance, its no surprise that in recent months we have seen some of the highest price rises ever recorded in the SW6, W14 and W6 areas.
I often hear people comment that these increases must be good for estate agents. Well, there is of course some truth in this however, in reality we dont want dramatic price rises any more than the masses of hopeful buyers trying to get a foot on the ladder. Our preference is always for a stable property market with a healthy turnover of property to satisfy the buyer-demand.
The highest price rises we have seen are the freehold houses, which have risen by at least 15%, and in some cases, by as much as 20% for the most premium properties in the Moore Park Estate and Alphabet Streets for example. Equally, due to their popularity with first-time buyers and investors, one-bedroom properties have had similar price growth. We recently marketed a one-bedroom apartment on Epple Road (in need of modernisation) for £420,000; after a plethora of viewings and competing offers, we sold the property for nearly 10% over the asking price, which equated to a staggering £1,046 per square foot! To give this some context, we believe we would have sold the property for £375,000 this time last year.
Prices have increased at such a rate, even in the last six months, that we are having to (gently) explain to buyers, who have been on our books for six months or more, that they need to readjust their expectations, or consider other parts of London. Indeed, we have referred some of our Fulham buyers to our Clapham, Battersea and Balham offices just this week.
Over the last few years, we have reported an increasing trend of first-time home owners opting to retain their first purchase as a rental investment. And why not? Its cheap to borrow money and as a landlord, you can enjoy a reasonably good rental yield, at the same time as capital growth. However, in some areas of Prime London, rents have softened and onward purchases are becoming increasingly expensive, so those trading up arenowfaced with having to sell theirexisting property to be able to compete in such a strong sellers market. As a result, there are more links in the chain compared to any period in the last six or seven years.
Buyers looking for longer-term capital rewards will continue to invest in Fulham and therefore prices will steadily be pushed upwards. My advice to buyers, who dont want to be pushed out of the Fulham market, is to ensure theyre active in their search. Properties are selling almost twice as quickly as last year. In January 2014 we recorded an 84% increase in the number of sales agreed within the first two weeks of marketing, compared to a year previously.
Whilst sellers choosing to sell their propertynoware benefiting from the high number of buyers and the possibility of a premium price, we expect this imbalance of supply to level out as more property comes onto the market in the traditionally busier Spring. At which time, as estate agents, we will be pleased to welcome a healthier, less fraught supply and demand ratio.
Contact the Fulham Sales Team on:
T 020 7736 9822
Contact the Bishops Park Sales Team on:
T 020 7993 9888
Sylvie Bahmanyar looks at the profile of renters currently seeking property locally in Fulham, Parsons Green and Bishops Park
Following a quieter last quarter of 2013, the New Year started on a high with a great number of tenants looking to rent and an equally good number of rental property listed with both our Fulham and Bishops Park offices.
Currently, the properties in the highest demand are the one-bedroom apartments and whilst weoften have a shortage, we will find that a sudden, and very welcome, influx of one-beds will come onto the market, which can sometimes make it difficult to anticipate the supply and demand at this level of the market. We have found that more and more tenants are increasingly attracted to good quality, spacious one-bedroom properties over having an additional bedroom - and properties that fill this criteria are receiving multiple bids.
In general, there are plenty of two-bedroom properties available, due to the way Victorian houses have been converted or purpose-built properties are configured, and this level of the market is very buoyant at the moment. There has been a notable increase in the number of professional sharers looking for three- to four-bedroom properties, but as they tend to have a ceiling price per person, we havent seen the same price rises observed at the lower end of the market.
Fulham and Parsons Green have always attracted the young professional renter and this continues today. But interestingly, the maturer, local family market is now more drawn to the Bishops Park area of Fulham, where they have the park, less hustle and bustle and a greater choice of property with private outside space. However, whilst we have a steady flow of families renting all year round, the demand overall has eased off slightly and at the end of 2013, some tenants, having previously considered Fulham, found their budgets allowed them to rent through our Chelsea and South Kensington offices. That said, we are still seeing a good number of familiescoming to us via our Corporate & Relocation Services department, who fall within the international relocatees bracket, including tenants from, in particular, the US, France, Italy and Spain, drawn to the SW6 area for access to its excellent local schools.
Across the board, our Corporate & Relocation Services team have reported a 16% increase in the number of new enquiries during Q4 of 2013, compared to the same period a year earlier; as well as an 11% increase in the number of searches with a budget of 1,500+ per week. Corporations looking for accommodation solutions will have a variety of different tenants, ranging from interns right the way through to company directors and in Fulham, we have recently secured tenancies for employees at LOreal and Sony, to name but two.
The Fulham rental market hasnt benefited from the same price growth as the sales market in the last year, however this year has started strongly and our experience of previous years points to the market improving even further as we enter the busier Spring market. My advice to landlords is this: if you let your property now, youll secure a long-term contract, at a strong rental price.
Contact the Fulham Lettings Team on:
T 020 7736 9822
Contact the Bishops Park Lettings Team on:
T 020 7993 9888