Good afternoon everyone,
For those of you who are new to these reports I add all of our current vendors, past valuations and current buyers to a list of recipients for a monthly report of what’s really happening in the market. There’s no sales patter and no pushiness, it’s just an honest and open take on the market as we see it. As ever, if you want to be taken off the list please just ask.
Firstly, for those of you who don’t yet know me, I am Tara Sinclair – the new Battersea & Wandsworth Sales Manager having now officially taken over the helm from Jonathan Dyson who now holds more of an area role within the business. I have been working for Hamptons in SW London for a number of years now and specifically alongside Jonathan, heading up the team, providing valuations and giving advice to our many customers, for over a year. I also live in the area myself, with my fiancé and dog, and truly believe it to be the most wonderful part of London. I care passionately about people and about property and genuinely love the fact that my job allows me to work so closely with both.
So that’s me, but what about the market?!
It will be no surprise that the hot topic on everyone lips in SW11 and SW18 over the past week or so is Britain’s decision to leave the EU. From speaking with lots of you already the consensus seems to be one of shock and surprise by the result; I think especially those of us in London who may not have had a sense of how the rest of the country was feeling and particularly considering the result in Wandsworth was 75% to remain.
Lots of people I have spoken to from both buyer and seller prospective have had differing opinions about how the result might affect the London property market. Some believe prices may fall significantly though in many cases this fear has been fuelled by negative predictions given before the referendum by some estate agents – more than one agent locally publically stated that prices would fall overnight by 20%! Others believe that given the lack of supply and consistent demand ratios that prices will hold fairly firm.
In fact, whilst over the past week we have indeed seen some price renegotiations these have been nowhere near 20% – on average across our region of offices they are just 6% and in this office specifically 10%. We have also seen examples of strong sales still being agreed such a house on Eccles road that we had 3 parties interested and went for over asking and although price renegotiations can be frustrating this does provide a great opportunity to those who are upsizing. A drop of 5% on your sale is quickly forgotten if you can pass that up the chain – we have two examples of clients actually making money out of the situation because they were able to negotiate more off their onward purchase than was required on their sale.
In my opinion confidence is getting stronger and stronger as the days pass and as the financial markets recover from the initial knee jerk reaction to change or uncertainty so does the London property market. Lets not forget there are still a lots of positive reasons for buyers to buy now, such as good levels of available stock across London and very low interest rates, not to mention less competition from other buyers and a good number of buyers are actually recognising a very short term window of opportunity before confidence returns and prices are on the rise again.
In addition, for this office and many others in predominantly residential areas of London, when it comes to moving home people do so because of the fundamental driving forces such as family size, schooling, marriage or divorce and these drivers remain no matter what else is happening in the world. In central London and in areas where there is a higher concentration of overseas investors the current fall in Sterling presents an excellent opportunity and as a result of this we expect the buyers migrating into neighbouring areas such as Battersea to provide us with a steady stream of proceedable buyers and have already seen an increase in buyer leads to back this up. Hamptons’ Central London network of 32 offices and it’s international connections have never been more important to our clients.
Indeed, if you are considering coming to the market in the near future, or you are already on the market with another agent, you’re choice of agent has never been more important. In a strong market I hear a lot of people comparing Hamptons International to more local agents but when market conditions toughen you can really start to see the difference between the two. The main factors you need to consider are the following: Can my agent offer me informed advice, not just in my local market but also across London and across the UK? Is my agent exposing my property to a wide enough spectrum of buyers, again not just locally but across London, nationally and internationally? Are the negotiators selling my property equipped with the training and knowledge to assure buyers in uncertain times? Does my chosen agent have the network and support around them to guarantee I have not only the best local buyers but also a strong database of buyers across London?
As always, every property transaction is individual and whilst some will be keen to move in this opportunistic market others may feel more cautious – personal circumstance is everything. Needless to say I am on hand to offer advice to you as Hamptons clients, whatever your situation, timescale or question as is my extremely able colleague Emlyn, our Lettings Manager, if this is also a route you would like to discuss.
With all that has happened over the last few weeks it would be naïve to predict too far ahead. Suffice to say that myself and the rest of the team here have spent a lot of time over the last few days ascertaining exactly who is still looking to buy and currently 75% of our buyer database are still continuing with their search for their ideal property, with an additional 5% on hold for the time being. This gives us reason for optimism as it shows that the market in Battersea & Wandsworth remains robust enough to maintain traction even in the most challenging of times.
And so on with our usual round up of current stock. As ever, we look at what is on the market, at what price levels and how long places are taking to sell. The table below shows all of the fully available (not yet under offer) stock between the commons, from Bolingbroke Grove to Clapham Common and from Battersea Rise to Nightingale Lane. (source- rightmove.co.uk):
|Type of property||No. available||Average time
on the market
|Average £/sqft||No. available last month||Average time
|1 bed flat||14||74 days||971||18||76 days||983|
|2 bed flat||35||126 days||894||38||78 days||904|
|3 bed flat||16||95 days||840||10||64 days||773|
|House||68||121 days||810||51||72 days||871|
The number of one bedroom flats has decreased slightly and asking prices have dropped back by around 10%. The number of two bedroom flats has also dropped, however the amount of time on the market gone up, which indicates a few vendors have decided to stay put while the dust settles. The number of three bedroom flats on the market has returned to higher levels showing savvy sellers are looking to make the most of the price drops on houses making the gap between the value on theirs and a house more achievable. We have also seen an increase in the number of houses on the market which in many ways shows sellers who need to move are carrying on as normal but are being more inclined to consider offers if they can make the figures work on their onward purchases. The prices in terms of £/sqft have also nudged down fractionally which is no surprise following Brexit and the scaremongering by the press!
On a non property related note we had a great time manning the bar at the Belleville Fete last weekend where the sun shone down on us and I hope to see many of you at the Northcote Road fete on Sunday, where we would love you to join us for a game of giant Chess outside our office.
As ever, this update, as well as all of my previous missives is available to view on our blog, which also links to our Twitter feed and can be seen here: http://hamptonsbattersea.co.uk/
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