Intellectual Property - Camden & Regents Park, Autumn 2015
Thu 15 Oct 2015
Camden & Regent's Park Sales Market Update
Enna-Mae, Camden Sales Manager
Camden's property market has continued to strengthen in recent months. The number of buyers registered has increased steadily month-on-month throughout 2015, and with a 40% increase in the third quarter compared to the previous, the market shows no signs of slowing down. As a result, the ratio of buyers to properties has doubled since the start of June and we now have 19 buyers registered for every available property on the market.
In line with this increase in buyers, viewing levels are also up. Many of these potential purchasers spent much of September "window shopping" however, this activity is now coming to fruition and offers are being made. Indeed, these highly motivated buyers and sellers are determined to exchange before Christmas.
The most prominent buyer profile includes local 'up-graders' with growing families, as well as professional first-time buyers. One- and two-bedroom properties are most sought-after by younger professionals, and it's properties under £500k that are snapped up incredibly quickly. We've had some great flats come and go for well under this mark and, interestingly, more of these buyers have access to the "bank of mum & dad to supplement their own contributions. We have seen an increase in the average age of first-time buyers from late 20's to early/mid-30's, and it's great to see parents supporting children to secure what will arguably be their biggest investment.
Activity between the £500k and 1 million price brackets is also on the rise. We recently generated multiple competing offers for an apartment on Arlington Road, which we sold for £16,000 more than the asking price - and within just two weeks!
Interestingly, in the last few weeks we've noticed a renewed sense of urgency amongst buyers looking for family houses above £1 million; a market that had previously been stifled due to stamp duty changes at the end of 2014. Adamant about staying in Camden, these buyers have had their moving plans on hold as they out-grew their current homes, due to lower volumes of these higher-value properties coming to the market. A prime example being a recently-instructed Georgian house in the heart of Camden, which went under offer after the very first viewing, to a couple planning to start a family.
Equally, this demand for large family homes is being met by local down-sizers. We recently sold a property for a client looking to downsize from a family home in Bayham Street. Within weeks of bringing the house onto the market we received competing offers and exchanged contracts for £55,000 over the initial asking price - a clear indication of this high level of competition from growing families.
Camden offers a wonderful down-to-earth environment, where residents enjoy the many local places of interest including the green open spaces of Primrose Hill & Regent's Park, as well as the famous Camden market and Lock. Its central location and excellent transport links make Camden a desirable place to live for people from all walks of life. With property prices remaining strong, and demand expected to continue, now is a great time to act and re-settle before Christmas.
James Boal, Lettings Manager
The Camden lettings market has gone from strength to strength throughout 2015. Indeed, the average number of registered tenants has increased steadily each quarter, in line which the number of available properties to rent, which is up 38% compared to the previous quarter. Currently there are eight tenants registered for every available property to rent in Camden.
As to be expected, our office experienced high levels of demand for three- and four-bedroom properties throughout September; predominantly from UCL students securing their shared accommodation. Whilst most are now settled into their new homes, a regular stream of enquiries still come through for these larger properties due to Camden's popular, central location and relative affordability compared to neighbouring suburbs. A good example of this, is a tenancy we have just secured in the Spitfire Building for £750 per week (paying a year in advance) to international UCL sharers.
In addition, the market for young professionals continues to thrive. With such high competition from tenants, properties tend to turn over within a matter of days! Subsequently, were seeing a heightened level of renewed tenancies with many understanding the competitiveness of the market - so either way, it's a great time to be a landlord! Were also seeing incredible demand for portered buildings with many tenants happy to pay up to a 15% premium in order to obtain this added service. Interestingly, much of this demand derives from American, corporate re-locatees who are accustomed to living in portered properties.
Indeed, our Corporate & Relocation Services Department now works with almost 800 organisations across varying sectors including finance, law, and technology. A number of relocation agents consider us their first port of call for corporate clients. Recently we've seen an increase in the number of employees from a well-known social media company looking in the area. Consequently, one-bedroom properties are being snapped up very quickly. Weve also seen an astounding 44% increase in corporate tenants compared to the same period last year, and expect this will only continue, as London remains a global economic powerhouse for business. Wise to this shift, many landlords are preferring to attract the corporate market and are refurbishing their properties accordingly. In our experience, corporate tenants tend to be the most favourable as they invariably have excellent budgets and spend very little time in the property, so minimise wear and tear.
Primrose Hill is often a first choice for tenants locally, however many are now considering Kentish Town as a more affordable alternative. As it grows in popularity though, similar rents are being achieved here too. We have just let a two-bedroom apartment in a school conversion on Prince of Wales Road, achieving £750 per week; not too dissimilar from a two-bedroom apartment in Primrose Hill which tends to achieve approximately £800 per week.
Camden and its surrounding areas capture the perfect balance between work and play; with excellent connections to the city and the West End, and its unique array of entertainment options, its understandable why tenants and investors alike place it at the top of their list.