Latest London property trends
The demand for property since the first lockdown has increased at a rapid rate, as property owners and prospective buyers have shifted their perspectives and requirements. Certain areas have become a hotspot of activity and one such destination is London, which has been thriving over the past year, with certain areas particularly popular.
Prices in Islington, for example, have jumped up by over 13% in the past year which is over double the average growth for Greater London, while Croydon has seen increases of over 10%. For buyers looking to purchase property in London over the coming year, what does the property landscape look like? These are some of the trends to watch out for when buying property in the capital.
A DESIRE FOR SPACE
With the large majority of people, pre-Covid, working at a separate location to home, space wasn’t as much of a concern for a lot of families. But lockdown forced many of us to rethink how much space we really need. Since remote working has become the norm, more and more people are seeking different layouts and additional room to live and work from the same location.
This has prompted a desire for detached or semi-detached properties and homes outside of the city centre in areas that offer outdoor space. Viewing levels have doubled since Easter and the number of property sales agreed reflects that. Many buyers have swapped flats, both rented and owned, for larger homes in the likes of Wimbledon and leafy suburbs where they can enjoy more space and get more for their money compared to the centre of the city. This is particularly the case for families who have spent the past year navigating work, homeschooling and personal life from home, resulting in a desire for larger properties with gardens.
STABILITY IN FOREIGN INVESTMENT
London has experienced slower growth than other areas of the country, in part because property prices here were already above those seen elsewhere. But even with its challenges, overseas investors are still keen to purchase property in the capital. In fact, London was named as the second-best place for property investment in Europe, for the relative liquidity the city offers investors and the prospects going forward.
Overseas investment plays a key role in the property market in London and it’s been considered a safe choice for many years. Even with price increases, there has still been consistent interest from foreign investment and it’s unlikely that the pandemic will have deterred people from purchasing here. For UK-based buyers looking to buy here, it may be worth securing property sooner rather than later, as this interest is only going to increase as life returns to normal around the world.
INCREASING DEMAND FOR RENTAL PROPERTIES
Throughout lockdown, there was a lack of job security for many people that led to a decrease in the rental sector in London. Similarly, the increase in remote working led many tenants to move out of the city which caused a huge boost in supply of private rental properties. For the most popular areas of London, the decrease in rents dropped by as much as 20%, which caused concern for landlords and property investors.
However, since lockdowns began lifting and life has started to return to normal, the lettings sector has experienced a rise in interest and activity, with more people registering with lettings agencies and a boost in the number of tenants moving back into rental properties. Over time, as we see a further easing of lockdown restrictions, the demand for properties in the city centre will continue to rise, as businesses open up, employees return to the office and more socialising is permitted once again.
After the rollercoaster of highs and lows throughout 2020, there’s still a lot of uncertainty for what the remainder of 2021 will hold. However, the property market appears to be having an incredible resurgence and prime locations such as London will typically fare better than elsewhere. London has been susceptible to fluctuations caused by the UKs political and economic circumstances. As we navigate the pandemic over the course of the year, the price of property in London is likely to be below the rest of the UK, but even comparatively, it remains a popular area where prices have certainly increased, both for purchasers and renters.