The UK economy and property market were demonstrably resilient in 2017, despite the first increase in the base rate for ten years and interminable Brexit negotiations.
Market extremes are, however, concealed within this overall assessment of the nation’s property markets. Substantial price inflation occurred in the West Midlands, whilst the central London property boom came to a juddering halt in 2017, with the first annual fall in prices since the financial crash in 2008. The Nationwide Building Society gave an annual fall of 0.5%.
It appears that the London residential market peaked in 2014, when the market roared ahead by 21%. It has since been pegged back by first time buyers, who cannot afford to buy, punitive increases in Stamp Duty, and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
Despite this check to growth in the capital’s residential market, London remains easily the most expensive place to buy a home in Britain, with prices more than double the national average. As a result in part, we are witnessing increased enquiries from buyers looking to move out of London, and taking advantage of the substantial price differential between the capital and the country. Their buying power enables them to buy a house with the external space required, and in some cases, pay off their mortgage, and still have equity to bank.
However, these buyers are not willing to pay over the market value, and sellers of properties in the country need to have realistic expectations, if they are to achieve a sale.
The Cotswolds, together with other areas south west of London, are seeing an increasing number of potential buyers wishing to move into the area, as the roads, railways and communications have improved. Modern technology has enabled greater flexibility to work from home, which has diminished the need to commute daily. As a result of these improvements, areas which traditionally would have been off the search radar for those moving from London and requiring continuing contact, are now entirely within reach.
The London Office is in a unique position to attract these buyers from our office in St. James’s Place, and introduce them to the properties being marketed by the offices across the country.’