Evening Standard: New homes in London: the race is on for a Christmas property deal as prices are slashed and stamp duty discounts are on offer
Fri 06 Nov 2015
With builders aiming to sell the few homes remaining within this year's new developments, buyers can takeadvantage of slashed prices - and discounts on stamp duty, legal fees, parking spaces and even furniture packs.
Greenwich: an area of spectacular river walks and architecture. Image: Rex
Londons homes market is alive, but not exactly kicking, except in isolated pockets such as Crossrail routehotspots. The cost of stamp duty, the curbs on interest-only mortgages and overpriced new-builds have beenkeeping buyers away.
?This atmosphere gives developers the jitters. By November, they are eager to sell and clear the books on theyears projects before the new year brings a wave of fresh launches.
Compared with a year ago, transactions are down in 31 out of 32 London boroughs, the exception being Barking& Dagenham, according to estate agents Portico. There is demand, but only where buyers see value, it says.
Buyers are becoming very picky. Small houses and flats with little storage and poor layouts are being turneddown. Agents say sellers are setting the price, but buyers are making offers, and this is where negotiations start.
TAKE A TOUR: THE NEW-BUILD LONDON HOMES WITH DISCOUNTS ON OFFER
London is a city of two halves at the moment, says Peter Rollings, chief executive of estate agent Marsh &Parsons. At the top end, buyers are cautious. At the mid and lower range of the market, there is good activitywhen properties are priced correctly.
Buyers and sellers need not fear a property crash, believe experts. Over the medium term, price rises in Londonwill be steady rather than heady. While there are more people than houses available there will always be amarket - at the right price.
From 806,995: Fulham Riverside, a redevelopment of the former Kops Brewery. Call 0844 811 4334
The latest Land Registry figures show that higher stamp duty charges introduced earlier this year are clearly
taking a toll. Homes in the price-sensitive 1 million to 2 million bracket have been hit hardest, according toproperty data firm LonRes, which reveals that 22.5 per cent fewer such homes changed hands in London duringthe three months to September.
Transactions in the 2 million to 5 million price band were down 16.9 per cent.
Prices have been cut on 35 per cent of prime London homes on the market, with 365 properties having had theirasking price reduced by 250,000 and, in some cases, much more.
Prime central London is no longer red hot, and there are fewer overseas investors wanting to buy into high-spec,high-priced tower blocks. This has created an oversupply - and the slowdown is spreading beyond central Londonto cheaper districts.
Since the stamp duty changes, buyers of homes worth less than 937,000 pay less tax, but those buying moreexpensive properties face a far higher bill.
Affluent families looking at a 93,750 stamp duty bill to trade up to a 1.5 million house are staying away,
calculating that the same sum would fund an extension if they stayed put.
From 350,000: Waterside Park at the Royal Victoria Docks in East London. Call 0844 811 4321
Builders are on the back foot: its time to haggleNew-home builders are on the back foot and there are deals to be done right across the price spectrum,especially at schemes where there are only a few homes remaining.
Developers like to clear away the fag ends in order to move on to the next big regeneration zone on the up. Ofcourse, most developers are reluctant to announce price cuts, preferring to dress up discounts in the form of stamp duty and legal fee refunds, furniture packs and deposit-paid deals.
But dont let that stop you haggling hard on the price. Parking spaces - costing anything between 10,000 and100,000 - are an obvious bargaining chip. Be businesslike, act quickly and dont get stuck in a chain, thoughpart-exchange deals are available, too.
For many buyers, Christmas is the deadline to complete the transaction and, with more than six weeks to go, thisis still possible. So have your mortgage finance lined up and your solicitor ready to act.
THE LAST NEW-BUILD HOMES STANDING
At Fulham Riverside - a redevelopment of the former Kops Brewery - stamp duty savings of up to 37,200 areavailable on flats priced from 806,995. The open area facing the river has a central communal podium garden,and there is underground parking, concierge, gym and waterfront caf. Call 0844 811 4334.
Stamp duty deals are also available at 780-home Renaissance , in Lewisham town centre, where only 11two-bedroom apartments remain for sale. The flats are on the 14th floor or above, so the views are good. Pricesfrom 455,000. Call 0844 811 4334.
At Putney Rise , Barratt is offering a 12-month sale-and-leaseback deal that may appeal to buyers who want todelay their move for 12 months. A two-bedroom furnished flat, priced at 690,000, comes with a six per centrental return.
A whopping 214,875 stamp duty saving is being offered on a 4.2 million new house at Spencer Park inWandsworth. Call 020 7228 7474.749,950: savings at Rosewood House in Storrington, West Sussex. Call 01306 730822
The Lawns , Hendon, is a scheme of Edwardian-style mansion flats set in communal gardens with a tennis court.All homes have sold except for the 1.7 million show flat, which has been reduced to include furnishings worthmore than 100,000. Call Regal Homes on 020 7328 7171.
6. Edware Green
At Edgware Green , in north London, four-bedroom houses aimed at young families stepping up the propertyladder cost from 670,000.
7. Royal Victoria Dock
Waterside Park , at Royal Victoria Dock in east London, has one-bedroom apartments priced from 350,000 thatcome with stamp duty paid. Call 0844 811 4321.
In Greenwich, an area of spectacular river walks and architecture, stands Greenwich Square, a hospitalredevelopment by Hadley Mace, which is paying stamp duty on townhouses priced from 825,000. Its anincentive worth at least 31,250. Call 0800 077 8177.
Barratt is offering incentives at several schemes where homes are ready to move into. Furnished penthouses at19-storey Oslo Tower , Rotherhithe, cost from 795,000 and come with a parking space and stamp dutycontribution. Call 0844 811 4334.
10. Commuter bargains
In the village of Storrington, West Sussex, developer Martin Grant Homes has cut the price of the remainingfive-bedroom Rosewood House home from 875,000 to 749,950. Call 01306 730822.
But Buyer beware...
You have to ask yourself why a flat or house is the last one left on the shelf. You need to be sure what you aregetting and not be totally driven by a propertys apparent bargain price.