What is happening in the London property market?

The clocks have gone back, Halloween has been and gone and the firework displays have taken place. The world famous Christmas lights are twinkling in Oxford Street and the mince pies are in the supermarkets which can only mean one thing; the festive season is fast approaching.

What the media had to report about the London property market during November

The recent strong performance of the housing market is beginning to steady and level out. The Nationwide House Price Index saw considerably weaker growth in Q3 compared to the previous quarter. Greater London continues to perform well on all measures as average prices reach £548,040, 10.7% higher than last year.

Recent interventions aimed at curbing the housing market appear to have had little impact so far as initial statistics on lending rates, transaction levels and prices do not suggest a significant slowdown.

The shortage of housing is now emerging as one of the single biggest issues facing London and how we tackle that will define the future success of the Capital.   Complex questions of where, what, how and who all have to be addressed and resolved.

When will interest rates increase?

Due to recent poor economic data and the unexpected fall in inflation; interest rates are now not expected to rise until mid-2015 at the earliest, after the General Election.

Once they begin to rise this may have a dampening effect, most specifically in the mainstream markets where the majority of purchases are dependent upon mortgages.

More supply and political uncertainty create better buying conditions

Uncertainty of any kind tends to deter buyers and make sellers, who don’t need to sell, hold off until activity picks up in the weeks and months following the UK vote.

This has traditionally been the way and it looks like history will likely repeat itself this time around. It also means that anyone holding off until May will almost certainly end up paying more for the property they end up purchasing. There will be far more buyers post-election and sellers will have the run of things in a way that they don’t have right now.

If the Conservatives stay in power there will be no threat of a Mansion tax, therefore we believe the market will very quickly return to normal.

Buyers can use the slower market and a general feeling of caution to their advantage by driving a harder bargain.

New pension rules

The pension world is about to change radically in April 2015; and a huge wall of money is predicted to hit the property market, whether owner-occupied or rental property. Already one in three people is opting for a property nest egg as opposed to a conventional pension, and the new changes mean that the property pension pot is likely to soar in popularity. Many landlords will then be able to use their pension to repay their mortgages, refurbish their properties, and buy more property. Or, this may well mean the entire property market is under-pinned by a new injection of investment that means property makes even more sense as an investment.

Interesting times are ahead for property investors who are able to spot a game-changing opportunity!

The London property market

The future remains very positive for the London property market with strong key growth drivers and the confidence of both domestic homebuyers and overseas investors.

One thing that is clear in a market that is in a period of adjustment, is the need for home sellers to use the services of a good quality, full service estate agency who combines both online and offline marketing with the knowledge and experience of an established professional team, who understand the local market and what is happening in the market place.

Here at Ellis & Co we pride ourselves on the personal and knowledgeable service we deliver to our clients. If you are considering buying a home or investment in or around Golders Green, please do get in touch.

 

How to maximise your selling potential during winter

Many people believe it’s harder to sell your home in winter than summer. But there are a number of real advantages to selling during the colder months.

For one thing, removed from the sometimes frenzied action of the spring market, sellers can take a little more time to consider offers, and with fewer homes on the market, there’s less competition. And don’t worry; the things that lead people to make new home purchases i.e. a new job, a growing family, up or downsizing ; happen all year round, and there are still plenty of buyers out there. In fact, winter is a great time for accentuating your home’s cosy, family-friendly charm.

Here are a few tips you can follow to make your home more appealing to buyers:

Clear all exterior pathways of snow and ice

Nothing will turn away potential buyers faster than a treacherously icy path. Open-house guests should be able to easily walk all the way around the house and access outbuildings. Provide as much off-street (snow-cleared) parking as you can to make things easy for visitors.

Preparation is key

Be sure to prepare for those wet and snowy shoes and boots. No one likes having snow and dirt tracked around their home by shoes or wet socks, just as no one enjoys having wet socks and dodging puddles in the doorway.  Be sure to implement a strict “shoes off” policy.

Place an absorbent mat protecting the flooring. Be sure to have a shoe rack or appropriate storage area for shoes, not only to avoid the puddles but to show off the organization of your home.  Apply this also to winter jackets, hats and scarves. Show functioning and organization by thoughtfully arranged set ups, don’t just have outerwear exploding out of closets or haphazardly hanging on hooks or coat rack.

Fix anything that is noticeable

Winter time is when a lot of the problems in a house can become more noticeable. Cracks or gaps in the walls next to doors and windows can allow the wind to whistle in, for example. Fixing any visible problems is an important part of staging at any time of year but it is something we need to take extra care over in the coldest months of the year.

Consider your home’s temperature

Homeowners often turn the heat down in the winter months to save money, but home sellers should turn up the heat to make it more comfortable for buyers. It doesn’t have to be tropical in the home, as buyers will probably have their coats on during the viewing, but you want your home to be warm and inviting. If it’s too cold buyers won’t want to stay and look at all your home has to offer.

Turn on all the lights.

It gets dark very early in the winter, so lights are extremely important. Whenever possible, show your home during daylight hours. Open all the windows so the buyer can see where the natural light comes in. Turn on all the lights, so the buyer feels welcome to look anywhere and doesn’t feel like you’re hiding anything. If you have to show the house at night, make sure all of the outside lights are on and open the windows so people can see the inside lit up as well. Consider bringing in some extra lamps so your house is bright and welcoming.

Give each room a warm touch

A folded throw draped over the back of an armchair, a plump quilt at the foot of the bed or an area rug in warm hues are a few small additions that will make a big difference to the way a room feels to prospective buyers.

Keep decorations simple

Preparing your home for sale includes depersonalizing the home, so keep the Xmas decorations simple. Don’t overdo lighting or ornaments. You want the home to be festive, but not distracting. And after the festive season is over, make sure you’ve taken the decorations down.

Pet-friendly and groomed

If you do own pets, be sure to have the appearance of clean pets…especially dogs. We love our furry friends, but it’s best not to leave those dirty, wet towels and doggy outfits laying around. The last thing you want is the smell of wet dog greeting your buyers at the front door; this can be a real turn off!

Selling a home requires knowledge of the local market, experience in negotiations and the know-how that only an estate agent can bring. As always, correct pricing coupled with great marketing are keys to a successful transaction and our experienced team will be pleased to advise you on maximising the result and helping you to achieve a great sale price at this time of the year.