We start with South West London, where according to the Land Registry, the Boroughs of Lambeth and Wandsworth are currently reporting some of the highest rates of house price growth across the country (with an annual growth of 21.9% and 17.5% respectively). This popular region appeals to many, and having analysed the number of properties coming to market versus the number of buyers registering, demand is fast outstripping supply and currently we are seeing on average at least seven buyers registering for every new property available. Last year, key areas which performed very well, included Brixton, however this year we anticipate that Tooting will take the lead. With its hospital, strong transport connections and vibrant community, it has many appealing aspects which will drive demand and competition amongst buyers looking to get more for their money.
Rental values have fallen slightly in South West London compared to a year ago, however demand remains strong as a result of a diverse tenant base. Putney, Battersea and Clapham, are very popular among families, as there is a wide range of good schools, while professionals and sharers are generating strong demand for flats in areas where regeneration and transport links into the City are convenient, like Earlsfield, Tooting and Raynes Park. These areas appeal to an equal mix of families and first time buyers, with parents in particular looking to make a good investment by buying for their grown-up children, while interest rates remain historically low at 0.5%. As the economy improves, there have been increased discussions on when rates will start to rise with most expecting the first increases within this year. The Governor of the Bank of England has suggested that, while rate increases would be gradual, they could reach 3% by 2017.