The surge of interest in owning a property in London continues unabated and levels of demand continue to outweigh the stock currently available. Many factors have combined to ensure that London has secured its position as one of the best cities for property investment, but chief among these are its safe haven status, its close proximity to Europe for travel while remaining separate from the financial crisis affecting the continent, and finally the weakening of the pound against other global currencies in locations such as the Middle East, Far East, South East Asia and Russia . In addition, low interest rates and fast rising property values are attracting a range of buyers both nationally and abroad.
According to the Land Registry, the average price of a property in the Capital is now £409,881 and values have risen by 10.9% in just one year. Our own stats at KFH show that in the first 10 weeks of the year, the number of buyers registering to purchase has risen by 50% compared to the same time last year, while the number of offers being made on available homes has increased by 60%.
In Marylebone, considered by many to be one of London’s most salubrious postcodes, the number of properties sold since the start of the year is now double compared to the same time last year. The area is hugely sought after as its impressive architecture and portered mansion blocks combined with a leafy residential outlook means it is popular both for wealthy owner occupiers as well as buy to let investors.
Mai Pexton, Sales Manager at Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward’s Marylebone branch, comments: “The property market in Marylebone today is very different to what we saw in the peaks of 2007. Although buyer levels are back up and demand has surged, sellers are more cautious, often marketing their property at a lower price and then achieving a higher value through best and final bids. The high numbers of buyers in contrast to the relatively low levels of stock has meant that we’ve seen huge levels of competition. Towards the end of 2013, many homeowners chose not to sell just then in anticipation of higher price increases in 2014.
“Traditionally Marylebone attracts cash rich buyers and investors, however recently we’ve noticed a shift, with the majority of our buyers aided by finance although many are still putting down hefty deposits to secure their property. In addition, Marylebone has been hugely popular among foreign investors. With many countries experiencing their own financial issues, international businessmen and affluent students have flocked to the area which has held its value better than other parts of London and which offers great transport links. Prices per square foot have risen rapidly over the last few years. In 2003, prices were approximately £400 psf whereas today this is closer to £1,400 psf. I would say there has been a 400% increase in property prices over the past ten years’ approximately in Marylebone and Mayfair.”