The London property market
After what has been an extraordinary year for us all it is heartening to see just how well prime central London has adapted to the pandemic.
Despite a series of lockdowns and travel restrictions, sales and lettings continued at healthy levels throughout 2020. And now, with Brexit in the rear-view mirror and the vaccination programme forging ahead, confidence in our great city is strong.
As the stamp duty holiday draws to a close, the much needed momentum across London continues in big waves as we enter what is being coined the summer sales bonanza. Property consultants are predicting an epic third quarter and we expect prime central London to lead the way.
The UK house price index, based on Government data, reports that average house prices in Kensington and Chelsea increased by five per cent in the year to January. Whilst the latest prime London market update by analysts reported an 8.8 per cent increase in exchanges in February compared to the same period last year. Our 12 prime central London offices - from South Kensington to Marylebone - are reporting the busiest market we’ve seen since 2014. Demand is strong from both domestic buyers looking for a house or apartment and international buyers keen to make a long term investment.
Dexters’ website now receives more than 100,000 visits a week and we have a record number of motivated buyers and tenants registered with us. This demand has already translated into some impressive sales. In partnership with Wetherell, the long-established Mayfair independent agency, we recently sold a wonderful 5,000 sq. ft apartment on Grosvenor Square in Mayfair with an asking price of £25m.
On the lettings side increased market activity and growth is predicted by analysts as pandemic restrictions are eased, and foreign workers and tourists return to London.
Our experience certainly supports this. We have been helping “super prime” tenants find townhouses, historic houses, and mews cottages, at rents ranging from £1,500 to £9,000 per week. These are demanding tenants, but they typically take on a property for three to five years, and sometimes longer. Our Mayfair-based corporate lettings and international relocation team is particularly busy with enquiries from global blue-chip companies, institutions and embassies. We have recently found homes in the capital for staff from firms including BP, Facebook and Amazon.
The capital’s universities are another huge draw and undergraduate applications for the 2021/2 academic year are up 8.5 per cent year on year. All of this activity is a testament to London’s resilience and global appeal. The latest Best Cities poll by Resonance Consultancy placed the British capital in the top spot - for the sixth year in a row - thanks to its parks and open spaces, culture, history, quality of life, prosperity and diversity. London, alongside New York, was also rated one of the two best cities in the world for ultra-high net worth individuals to live, work, and invest in a separate survey.
As the city begins to reopen over the coming months, we predict that the market will continue to flourish. Our experts forecast price growth in prime central London of two to three per cent by the end of the year.
If you are considering selling or letting your property or would like an update on your local market, we would be delighted to assist. Please click the link to make contact with your local Dexters office.