As we reach the year’s halfway mark, the West London property market is entering a period of transition and adjustment.
Both sales and lettings continue to be incredibly active; in sales, the ‘off market’ market is still buoyant with multiple homes being sold this way in recent weeks and in lettings we continue to see multiple offers and sealed bidding scenarios as competition to secure property to rent remains fierce.
Wider economic headwinds are beginning to have an impact as buyers and renters reassess their budgets to factor in a higher cost of living. Those looking for a home are acting decisively as they are motivated to move; we’re seeing almost no ‘time-wasters’ in this fast-paced marketplace.
Here in the summer issue of our West London Property News, we consider the most recent data, and local trends and share the outlook for the coming months.
Pricing is key
Some level of price sensitivity has become apparent in recent weeks as those buyers offering on homes are, for the first time in a long time, making initial offers that are a little below the listed asking price.
That’s not to say sales are ultimately being agreed at a lower figure but that buyers are increasingly seeking to negotiate. Given the strength of the market so far in 2022, this is something we haven’t seen for many months and that sellers should be mindful of moving forward.
Rest assured, property prices are not dropping, they simply aren’t increasing at the same dizzying rate witnessed earlier in the year. Priced well – houses continue to attract multiple offers and are sold within days of listing.
As we navigate a cooling market there could be some difference of opinion between buyers and sellers. With a realistic outlook and clever strategy sellers will continue to achieve strong results over the coming months.John Horton, Owner and Director
Selling in the Summer
The summer is traditionally a quieter period for the sales market and the combination of good weather, school half term and extended Jubilee Bank Holidays have resulted in a change over the past month. That said, those buyers who are active in the market have a real sense of urgency, taking a long-term view those using a mortgage are keen to secure a property locking in the current interest rates, and others are keen to move whilst conditions are favourable to do so.
We find ourselves in a two-speed market, with smaller properties taking longer to sell, versus larger houses where there has been a shortage of property to buy for an extended period. Houses coming to the market correctly priced are receiving significant interest from multiple parties. Pricing will be key as we move through the second half of 2022.
Increasingly there is an appetite for turn-key properties that require little or no work as buyers are keen to avoid the hassle and recognise that the cost of building works has increased considerably over recent years.Louise Jones, Sales Manager
According to Zoopla, rental values in London have increased by 15.7% over the past year which more than offsets the 10% fall experienced last year. Landlords who haven’t relet their properties for some time should be aware that the current growth in rental values is largely a clawback of the rental price drops throughout the pandemic and not a huge leap in pre-pandemic rental figures.
What’s ahead for lettings?
There remains to be a considerable lack of property available to rent in West London, both flats and houses are in short supply. Those that do become available, priced competitively, are receiving high levels of interest, multiple offers, often a sealed bidding scenario and are being let within a few days of listing.
Those properties coming to the market at unrealistic prices are taking longer to let due to the lack of competing offers and tenants being increasingly aware of the rising cost of living.
Pricing will remain keenly important in the coming months in order to generate high levels of interest and strike a balance of finding good tenants, who’ll pay a fair price for the long term.
In such a fast moving and changeable market landlords will do well to remain level-headed and retain a long-term view as London’s letting market finds its stride post-pandemicAggie Tukendorf, Lettings Manager
We aim to inform our readers with localised property market-related information on a regular basis here in the West London Property News. If you would like to discuss any property matters with us, please do get in touch, without obligation.