The Central London property market has always attracted interest from far and wide, and that is still very much the case today.
However, new legislation and increased taxes on purchases has cooled interest and transactions. For many sellers this is seen as disruptive, but these measures were no doubt put in place to steer us away from the boom and bust scenarios of years gone as they stop buy-to-let investors taking new stock away from would be homeowners. Many sellers were, and some still are, looking to achieve the prices of 12 -24 months ago, which is not achievable at this time. The reality is no one knows when the market will return to its optimum, however it may be a year or two at least as uncertainty over Brexit continues to fill column inches and put doubts in the mind of some buyers.
Buy-to-let lending has dropped since the additional 3% stamp duty on second homes and investments in April 2016; from £25bn worth of lending in 2015 to £5bn in 2017. Tax on the overall rent received (rather than the profit) is starting to make some buy-to-let landlords think about selling. This will mean more stock will become available which will hold prices lower, unless buyer levels and confidence improve. Added to all of this is the government’s commitment that once Brexit discussions have finished, property will be its main focus to protect the consumer.
With buyers looking for value, if you want to sell your home you need to be priced correctly to get that first impression right. If it is not priced correctly you could ruin your all important new-to-market listing before you’ve even really started. In the last year in London the difference between asking price and achieved price has fallen from just under 10% to 6.5% in June - a good sign that asking prices are becoming more realistic.
My top tips to sell your home in tougher market conditions are:
The above tips will certainly help as buyers are much savvier nowadays. Not only will they see more properties than before, they will also be open to different areas and play that off against price and lifestyle. We recently had a case where some buyers got less for their money in central London compared to purchasing a few miles out, where they could have a garden for the same money. Eventually they decided to go for our property because they decided in reality the convenience of being central was better, along with the capital appreciation it would earn.