Kensington & Chelsea Magazine: No time like the present
Thu 01 Jan 2015
William Hughes-Ward, Area Sales Director of South Kensington & Chelsea for Marsh & Parsons, encourages buyers to take the plunge.
The London property market calmed down during the second half of 2014, causing a short-term slow-down. Buyers have been sitting on the fence waiting to see what happenes to the market this year but in my opinion, it's the smart ones who are buying now - the UK economy is set to continue stabilising, while the European and world economies grow in conjunction. Demand for property in the capital still far outweighs supply, and interest rates remain at an all-time low - all signs point towards prices continuing to grow in 2015.
The final piece to the jigsaw will be the General Eleection, and there is no doubt that once the result has been annouced and political certainty has been restored, prices will start to veer northwards once again.
Therefore, buyers should make their move now, as it is more than likely that they will get a good deal.
George Osborne's Autumn Statement sent a shockwave through the property market in Decemember but the Stampy Duty shake-up was long overdue. While the new graduated system should help brighten the UK housing recovery in regions outside of London, any additional strain on the top tiers of the housing market will be absorbed, and the natural rhythm of the property market won't be disrupted. Buyers investing in Prime Central London property are accustomed to having to pay a higher price than elsewhere across the country, but the unparalleled returns and capital growth on offer make it more than worthwhile, so demand won't be quashed.
London property taxes have historically been cheaper than other world cities, so this overhaul brings it into line with rival global centres of investment and although one-off purchase costs are always a bitter pill to swallow, it won't deter people from snapping up their dream home in a desirable location. Buyers will soon adjust and it will simply become the norm.