On the Market - Brook Green, Spring 2012
Fri 20 Jul 2012
As property prices continue to climb, Paul Price looks at the types of buyers being attracted to this pretty village area of West London.
by Paul Price
A lack of stock and a large number of buyers means that the supply and demand equation is creating more competition for fewer homes. Inevitably, prices are rising and weve seen increases of around 5% already this year. The sheer number of active buyers has actually resulted in property selling, on average, for MORE than the asking price.* Indeed, we have just sold a house in Brackenbury Village for 840,000 - 45,000 over the original asking price. The property shortage can be seen as a vicious circle - people arent selling, because people arent selling.
Brook Green offers relatively good value at the moment, compared to its better-off neighbours Notting Hill and Holland Park. Whereasa typical home might be in the region of 1,000 plus per square foot in The Royal Borough, you can still find great property for around 600 per square foot in Brook Green. A number of eager buyers, registered with our Holland Park, Kensington and Notting Hill offices are being tempted across the Borough border to the Brook Green, Olympia and Shepherds Bush areas, where their budgets and requirements are ensuring a speedier purchase.
Family houses in prime areas of Brook Green and Brackenbury Village are seeing the best premiums. Attracted largely by the great schools and the excellent community feel, many buyers are patiently waiting to secure a family house and some have even sold their property already, renting in anticipation of a suitable house coming onto the market. The other good news is that, unlike many areas of central and west London, Brook Green is not a first-time buyer free zone. Nearly half (53%) of the sales done last year were with first-time purchasers indicating that despite what you may read in the press, mortgages are available to many first time buyers in London.
The mortgage market is not all doom and gloom. Yes, lending is tougher to find but absolutely not impossible and interestingly, 81% of our sales last year in Brook Green were to buyers who had to get a mortgage. Many had substantial deposits, but the vast majority needed a mortgage and found one.
Other pluses in Brook Green are a good mix of property types, great and improving transport facilities and the Westfield shopping centre that opened in 2008 which has been a big boost to the area. It's a real selling point having it close by, and we feel that its added between 5-10% to property values. The new Tube at Shepherds Bush has spruced up the whole area, as will the ongoing revamping of Shepherds Bush Green itself. Brook Green and its surrounding area remains a domestic enclave with 64% of our buyers from the UK, while 28% have come from places as varied as France, Singapore and Australia to live and work in the capital, and a further 9% are foreign investors. Both the British and those from beyond our shores are attracted by the 'villagey' atmosphere. All strong reasons why values have held up and are likely to remain solid in 2012.
Contact Brook Green Sales Department on:
T 020 7605 7760
Graeme Young, Lettings Manager of the Brook Green office gives his advice on rental values and whether or not to consider renting your property during the Olympics.
Once regarded the poor relation to its glitzier neighbours, Brook Green is now the port of call for those originally hunting for homes in Notting Hill and Holland Park. They want to live along the Central Line in west London, but realise quickly they get better value for their budget in Brook Green. Its difficult to find a two-bedroom flat in Notting Hill at 450 a week these days, whereas we can show them a large two or even three-bedroom property at this level in Brook Green and surrounding areas Brackenbury Village and West Kensington.
Because of its popularity with City workers, media employees (in particular the BBC) and other professionals, rents have grown by at least 5% in the last year. In some cases, mainly for studios and one-bedroom flats, rents have soared by more than 10%. The price surge, like most places in the heart of London, has been down to fewer homes on the market combined with the ever increasing number of tenants searching for good property. Over the last four years, weve had a consistent rise in values between 5-10% a year and I dont see that changing this year.
The Olympics is a hot topic at the moment - there is a lot of hype and Im not convinced there will be as much demand as some believe. Savvy landlords with existing rental property will inevitably see an increase in their rent during this period but I would urge landlords to be cautious - if you have a good, reliable tenant, then is it really worth it? Yes, there are plenty of potential tenants for the Olympic period and were confidently finding them great property but dont kick out a good tenant just to capitalise on a three-week period where you think you might make a killing. Equally, home-owners who are considering 'moving out' for the summer months should consider all the legal requirements of renting their property for a short-term period before they put it on the market - EPC's, gas safety, contracts and of course agency fees.
Contact Brook Green Lettings Department on:
T 020 7605 7760