Setting the wheels in motion

What a year it’s been! In six years of trading, it really feels like this has been Horton and Garton’s year.

The business has come along in leaps and bounds, but what has made me even happier is the way in which we’ve done it.

We’ve grown quickly but steadily. We’ve stuck to our guns, trusting that our local knowledge would pay dividends. But most importantly, we’ve done it while keeping a smile on our faces.

In many ways, it’s a tough time to be smiling if you’re looking to buy locally.

The number of disappointed buyers who want a home in Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. There are just not enough homes on the market to satisfy the huge demand from prospective buyers – and as a result, the prices are only going up and up.

One glance at the Rightmove statistics for the year so far show H&F has now become the third most expensive borough in London, behind only Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea, and the average house price locally is now an eye-watering £1,056,731.

It’s great news if you own property locally, and the news gets even better as residents are about to enjoy another three per cent reduction in their council tax for the seventh year out of eight. But for families – especially young families – it’s a frustrating time.

And when I look into my crystal ball for 2014, I cannot find much to suggest the upward trend of prices will change.

We’re regularly taking offers from interested buyers before a single viewing has taken place.

Family homes are selling in a morning, flats selling in a weekend. I’ve never seen anything like it and the prices are difficult to fathom.

Only an interest rate increase will cool this market and that looks unlikely to happen anytime soon.

That said, it’s been good to watch some new local homes being built and getting close to coming onto the market.

Whether it’s the St Peter’s Place development in the western end of the borough, or the new homes planned for Shepherds Bush Market and the Westfield expansion in the north, all of them will help to ease the pressure on the housing market locally. Well, a little bit at least!

In truth what we really need is more pioneering finance schemes on offer and more affordable homes to be built for families of all budgets. But really, we should be flattered. As a borough we’ve got a lot to be proud of and it’s no wonder the area is finally catching on with Londoners and foreign buyers alike.

We’ve been keeping our secret quiet for years – now it’s time to enjoy the attention!

As the festive season really kicks in I’d like to say a big thank you, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of the clients we’ve worked with this year. Here’s to an even better 2014. Onwards and upwards!

And one other thing! To celebrate the launch of Boris Bikes in Hammersmith and Fulham today (13th December) we’re giving you the chance to win a cycling voucher worth £150 courtesy of local bike shop Bikeworks Shepherds Bush – head to our Twitter or Facebook page to find out how to enter.