As more people return to the West End of London and more businesses are welcoming back their employees, there certainly seems to be a late spring in the step of the central London property market. The property market is alive again and estate agents can conduct in-person house viewings, despite the Covid-19 measures still in place. There’s optimism around the property market at the moment, with buyers competing over homes in the most sought-after areas.
Rental prices are still below the 2019 levels, offering great value as we see more and more professionals head in from Zones 2 and 3 to be closer to the heart of London living whilst also being closer to work.
The busy season has kicked off and from now until October, expect available stock to become increasingly scarcer as the months go by. Rents are starting to improve slightly for landlords, but as the market moves into the busy period, we expect the 20% drop to start shrinking.
Some outstanding rental properties on our books right now include this attractive one-bedroom apartment on Charlotte Street. Set in a period building, the bright and modern interiors create the perfect London pied-à-terre. There’s an inviting open-plan kitchen/dining/living space furnished with on-trend pieces and glossy, white kitchen cabinets, along with modern metro tiles. Warm parquet flooring finishes the stylish look.
This three-bedroom, two-bathroom rental on Robert Adam Street has the best of both worlds, in a quiet residential spot between Manchester Square and Marylebone High Street, yet minutes from Bond Street underground station. The quality of décor is high with a spacious kitchen-diner decked out with sleek dark cabinets, plenty of warm wooden floorboards and an en-suite Master bedroom. There’s even a bijou terrace for an early evening G&T.
Viewing levels have doubled since Easter, which has reflected in double the amount of property sales agreed. UK-based buyers are busy securing properties before the pent-up demand from our overseas clientele starts again. We have witnessed a 50% increase in buyers registering and a small but noticeable increase in foreign buyers returning to the London property market.
The horrible word and action of gazumping is also starting to rear its ugly head as buyers try to find their dream West End homes. The rise in demand from buyers hasn’t been met by a flurry of new properties coming on to the market, and this imbalance could keep prices high in the coming months.
In May, stock levels increased by around 10% compared to April but we can expect demand to start outweighing supply, which will start to create an upward trend on property prices.
The much-trumpeted stamp duty extension, with a tax-free threshold of £500,000 until the end of June, means lawyers and buyers are rushing around trying to get their property purchases over the line. This will enable many to breathe a large sigh of relief come 1 July, while for others, breaks in the chain, changes of mind or mortgage issues could see unlucky buyers miss the deadline. Remember, that between 1 July and 30 September, the threshold will be reduced to £250,000, before returning to £125,000 for home movers from October.
To give you an idea of what’s coming up with Hudsons Property, this well-presented two-bedroom loft-style apartment on Berner’s Street, Fitzrovia offers high ceilings, sophisticated parquet floors and a large west-facing bay window. The kitchen is packed with high-spec integrated Miele appliances which blend well with industrial touches, from silver open ducts for the comfort cooling, to the brickwork feature wall.
This modern, two-bedroom, two-bathroom duplex on Osnaburgh Street near Regent’s Park wows with its stunning 750sq. ft. private terrace. Other benefits include a concierge and a designated underground parking space. Sleek, light-filled spaces include a semi open-plan living area and contemporary kitchen with integrated appliances. Excellent transport links include Great Portland Street, Oxford Circus, Baker Street and Euston underground stations all within easy reach.
Staging and remodelling properties for the changing desires of buyers and tenants is making a difference to prices achieved and the length of time a property stays on the market for. We’ve seen several properties get sales agreed before full marketing, such is the impact of upgrading your home or rental. Staging also serves to create more interest and achieve higher rents while cutting down on marketing time and limiting void periods. Again, for sole agency landlords, Hudsons’ offers 0% finance (subject to terms and conditions, please call 020 7323 2277 for more information).
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