On the Market - Brook Green, Autumn 2012
Thu 20 Sep 2012
The autumn property market always encourages a flurry of new instructions and a plethora of enthusiastic buyers. Paul Price gives his advice on making the most of this window of opportunity
Brook Green in the summer is glorious. Whether its the green open spaces, great selection of pubs and restaurants or community events such as the Brook Green Fun Day, its not difficult to see why an increasing number of people want to live and invest in the area.
Following a bumper spring market, Brook Green was a little quieter over the summer months, which is not unusual. This was reflected in the number of buyers per property reducing to 25 in Q2 this year from 37 in Q1. The uncertainly in the eurozone coupled with the continued imbalance between supply and demand played a big part in driving the spring market forward. Added into the mix this year were the Diamond Jubilee and Olympic games which, with some transactions, acted as a catalyst for both buyers and sellers keen to seal the deal before the summer celebrations started.
Many of those who were unable to sell in the spring decided to rest their properties over the summer months, choosing to enjoy them with a view to returning them back to the market in the Autumn. Indeed, an example of this is a property on Rosedale Road that was on with another agent in the spring priced at 695,000. Having been off the market over the summer, the owner instructed us to sell, which we did, all within ten days and at our revised asking price of 725,000.
Since the beginning of September, we have seen an influx of new buyer registrations to add to our existing database. The high level of competition has made it easier to trim the fat from the market: the best buyers know that if they hesitate, they will probably lose out on their dream home.The area also remains popular amongst buy-to-let investors, who can expect rental yields in the region of 5%. In addition to domestic buyers who account for approximately 80% of sales, the remaining 20% comprise continental Europeans, particularly the French who are drawn to the Jaques Prevert school on Brook Green. Other recent international transactions include buyers from America, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.
However, the key to successful selling in the area is sensible pricing. The best quality, serious buyers are generally in tune with the market, specifically with the values in their areas of choice. Like Michelin star restaurants, the best properties continue to achieve top prices, however those that dont tick all of the boxes have to be priced competitively to even get buyers through the door. There is a fine (constantly changing) line between enough and too much, making it imperative to market a property at the true market value, rather than a value designed to fl atter the seller; if the latter approach is adopted, any chance of achieving the best price is likely to fail.
In addition to new buyer registrations, those buyers who took time out to enjoy the summer are back in force. Smart sellers know this and have been quick off the mark; they know that if they want to sell their property before Christmas they need to act now. In reality there are not actually that many weeks to go and every year, as soon as December 1st arrives everyone (apart from us!) starts to wind down including solicitors and the banks. The increase in properties on the market has resulted in the number of buyers per property dropping to 14, however those looking are motivated and keen to move before the winter kicks in.
Looking ahead, we expect the market to remain consistant in the run up to Christmas. Despite a healthy increase in new buyer registrations, we are also seeing an increase in valuations and of course instructions, which is likely to keep the Brook Green market in check, with marginal increases in prices as buyers compete to snap up their dream property before 2013.
Contact Brook Green Sales Department on:
T 020 7605 7760
The Olympics have come and gone, but its 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 Brook Green office, as well as the overspill of tenants from our Notting Hill, Holland Park, Barnes and Fulham offices.
Demand from tenants is across the board families, corporate relocations, sharers and professional couples are all seeking property in Brook Green. The number of professional couples looking for two bedroom properties has significantly risen and properties on the popular roads are renting within 24 hours these include, for example, the Sinclairs, Hammersmith Grove, Netherwood Road, Brackenbury Road, Aynhoe Road and Bolingbroke Road to name a few. The majority of professional couples who are moving from within the Capital are tending to move further west, from prime central London addresses. Of course, we have always let a large proportion (over one third) of our properties to tenants registered with our neighbouring offices. But more recently, we are registering an increasing number of tenants, particularly the professional couples, directly with our office. They are attracted by the great lifestyle and lower price tag. We are calling them the try-before-you-buy tenant; they are signing a one-year lease for now, with the intention of buying in a years time when they are sure Brook Green, Hammersmith, Brackenbury Village or perhaps Shepherds Bush is definitely for them. They have ultimately been priced out of the central London sales market and this area is an excellent alternative.
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 Brook Green, for example Wingate Road, Aynhoe Road, Caithness Road, Cardross Street, Addison Gardens, Masbro Road, Faroe Road etc are in high demand and landlords are benefiting from the best returns here.
We work with a number of London based, international companies via our Corporate & Relocation Services department, who 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. Indeed, in just the last week we have secured several lets via our corporate team on behalf of General Enterprises.
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 Brook Green has really picked up, but most interestingly the highest proportion of our landlords are in fact the second-time buyers, who are deciding to keep their first property as a rental investment and then move further out of London.
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 Brook Green Lettings Department on:
T 020 7605 7760