On the Market - Little Venice, Autumn 2012
Thu 20 Sep 2012
The autumn property market always encourages a flurry of new instructions and a plethora of enthusiastic buyers. Natasha Greenwood gives her advice on making the most of this window of opportunity
Demand for property in Little Venice and Maida Vale remained strong this summer from both domestic and international buyers. Following an exceptionally busy start to the year that saw record-breaking prices achieved, uncertainty in the eurozone coupled with the continued imbalance between supply and demand, ensured that not even the distraction of the Diamond Jubilee and Olympics could have any detrimental effect on the market. However, whilst the Golden Summer took its toll on speculative buyer demand (the ratio of buyers per property dropping from 15.1 in Q1 to 12.4 in Q2), a core of serious buyers keen to secure a property before the busy September market remained engaged and focussed, ready to make the most of a quieter month.
In particular, we have seen large numbers of buyers from continental Europe, now working in London, who are keen to take their cash out of the eurozone and invest into property on some of the prime roads in Little Venice and Maida Vale. For example, we recently sold a large apartment in Lauderdale Mansions to a French family for in excess of the asking price, after more than forty viewings and offers from four different parties. There are still large numbers of cash buyers making purchases in Maida Vale, both foreign based investors looking for long term buy-to-let opportunities and existing W9 residents looking to downsize from large apartments and houses.
The supply of properties in Maida Vale and surrounding areas remained limited over the summer period, and despite the number of buyers per property now dropping in Q3 to 10.5, this high calibre core of buyers ensured prices continued to creep upwards. Sealed bids and over-asking price offers were a regular feature of the summer market, as buyers strived to secure the best properties available. In June more than 50% of all the sales were agreed at or in excess of the asking price. One example of this, was a stunning garden fl at we sold on Elgin Avenue for 27,500 over asking price, a record price for the western end of the road. We also sold a beautiful fl at on Marylands Road for more than 10,000 over the asking price after competition between three different buyers.
Apart from the amazing feel-good factor, the Olympics had no real impact on the property market in Maida Vale. The number of buyers remained relatively high and if anything, the Olympics served as a fantastic advert, showcasing London as a leading world-class city, which has so much to offer in addition to fantastic property investment opportunities.
As we move through autumn, we fully expect demand to remain strong. Interest rates are still historically low and many mortgage lenders are offering incredibly good value deals, especially for buyers with larger deposits. As expected, the September market has seen a huge rise in new buyer registrations, ensuring competition for the best properties on prime roads remains very strong. Refreshed and focused after the summer holidays, buyers have more time and have prioritised finding a property in the area. On top of this, there are still a number of buyers who have missed out on properties in the spring and summer markets. These purchasers have been in the market for a some time now and know from experience, that they must move quickly and make compelling offers to secure the most desirable properties.
Looking ahead, instruction levels have started to increase and we would expect this to continue well into the remainder of the autumn market. We are now seeing some really good quality property coming on to the market, both at the fi rst-time buyer level and at the higher end. Smart sellers know that now is the time to take advantage of the autumn market; in reality there are relatively few weeks until Christmas and every year, as soon as December 1st arrives, everyone (apart from us!) starts to wind down, including the banks and solicitors. If you are thinking of selling this autumn, my advice would be to act sooner rather than later; we are in the middle of an incredibly strong sellers market, which if approached correctly is guaranteed to return fantastic results.
Contact Little Venice Sales Team on:
T 020 7993 3050
The Olympics have come and gone, but their effect on the rental property market continues into the autumn
Prior to the Olympics, a number of landlords served notice on their tenants in the hope of securing a lucrative Olympic-let and its true to say, we let some incredible properties for great premiums. However, demand for short lets during this period was not as exciting as some had expected. So, as the Olympic-lets come to an end and the landlords who missed out re-market their properties, there is inevitably more rental property on the market. This is of course, added to the already high volume of property that naturally comes onto the market at this time of year.
So whilst there is now a good selection of property for rent, the same can also be said for the large number of great quality tenants registered with our Little Venice office as well as the overspill of tenants from our Notting Hill, North Kensington and Holland Park offices. Incidentally, 20% of the properties we let are to tenants, initially registered with our neighbouring offices. Affordable two-bedroom properties are currently in the highest demand and put simply, we cannot get enough of them. Properties on roads such as Sutherland Avenue, Elgin Avenue and Shirland Road are certainly the most popular amongst renters at the moment particularly the try-before-you-buy tenants, who are signing a one-year lease for now, with the intention of buying in a years time when they are sure that Little Venice is definitely the area for them.
Its true to say that rental prices have not increased at quite the same level as earlier this year however, premium properties are still attracting the premium prices. The apartments or houses that offer a high specification on the most popular roads in Little Venice, for example Randolph Avenue, Warwick Avenue and their surrounding roads, are in high demand and landlords are benefiting from excellent returns. Interestingly, we have also noticed a large number of tenants deciding to remain in their existing accommodation for longer. In the last four weeks, we have renewed 45% more tenancies compared to the same period last year.
We work with a number of London based, international companies via our Corporate & Relocation Services department, many of which placed a three-month embargo on London relocations in anticipation of high rental hikes and challenging moving conditions during the Olympic period. Now the embargo is lifted, we have seen a significant increase in the number of search requests coming from relocation agents in the capital, looking to secure property on behalf of excellent corporate tenants.
In contrast to our more central offices, our typical landlord tends to live locally. Over the years, local residents have built property portfolios and now enjoy low mortgage rates, excellent rental yields and are safe in the knowledge that their investment is comfortably appreciating all the time. Less affected by international investors, the domestic, buy-to-let market in Little Venice has really picked up and the sales teams are passing new landlords to us all the time. Weve noticed an increase in the young professionals market who are buying property with the help of bank of mum and dad and then putting it back on the rental market, before they even intend to move in themselves. Buyers know that a delay of just a few months could ultimately price them out of the market.
Whereas earlier this year, there was a stark shortage of property to let and vast tenant demand, there is now a much more healthy balance of both property and tenants. Landlords can expect an average increase of 2.5% on a renewed contract; a figure lower than the rental increases achieved earlier this year, but when you consider the 15-20%, on average, rental rises in the last two years, it is still a great time to be a landlord.
Contact Little Venice Lettings Team on:
T 020 7993 3060