Dock East

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Greater clarity on the Brexit triggers bustling market exchanges on London property.

The majority of citizens in the United Kingdom are looking forward to a brighter future ahead, marked by greater confidence to make firm financial decisions. This is due to the fact that the wealthy island nation is finally leaving the European Union after a more than 40-year membership.

The re-election of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Conservatives’ dominance in the House of Parliaments haven’t only jump-started the successful Brexit. These continuously propel London property to grow.

Johnson is suggesting new ways of enabling first-time buyers and those with small deposits to buy homes—backed by financial assistance from either banks with long-term, fixed-rate mortgages, institutions, and the government possibly through its Help To Buy scheme. Meanwhile, the Conservative Party Manifesto has pledged one million homes to be built in the next five years, and to introduce new demand-side policies such as a 30 per cent discount on new homes for first-time buyers with the support of contributions from developers.

With these initiatives up ahead, it’s best to regard these days as high times to invest in a London property.

Increasing buyer momentum

Buyers can now take advantage of buying residual property left during the four-year economic uncertainties of Brexit.

In fact, according to Tom Bill, head of Residential Research at Knight Frank, they have “carried out more exchanges in prime Central London than any ten-day period since 2016. Furthermore, the number of new prospective buyers registering with Knight Frank in London rose to its highest weekly total in more than 15 years in the second week of January.”

On the other hand, Dataloft, which is a research company that focuses on residential property, states that new flats in regeneration areas best serve as long-term investments. Essentially, apartment prices in large-scale regeneration prices peaked at 17 per cent per year from 2012 to 2017.

Observably, the buying trend in homes is from flats in the secondary market, to “new build” ones. Investors are opting to buy the latter properties because of its 10-year structural guarantees, as well as its solid specifications and high standard builds. And being new structures, these don’t need yet any detailed property inspection as compared with older properties.

Developers of “new build” stock haven’t increased prices yet, and prefer to sell inventory that piled up during UK’s prior volatile periods. Because of this, the market now has a good selection of such properties that are available at “old prices.”

Rising property values

The rise in the value of homes in England’s capital is due to the increasing demand from buyers. Recent figures from Property portal Rightmove show asking prices in London homes increase by 2.4 per cent in February compared with the same period last year at an average of £629,000.

Most homeowners have also put their homes up for sale with a 1.6 per cent increase in the number of newly marketed properties as compared to last year’s. Rightmove’s Miles Shipside says that “owners coming to the market in spring face the best-selling prospects for several years with good demand for the right properties at the right prices.”

Some of the London boroughs which saw an uptick in housing values include Lambeth up 7.7 per cent to £648,000; Sutton up 7.1 per cent to £471,000; Kingston upon Thames up 4.6 per cent to £626,000, Merton up 4.6 per cent to £621,500 as well as in Kensington & Chelsea, one of the expensive borough in the city, at 3 percent to £1,576,000.

Shipside, however, warns sellers against getting carried away with their pricing “as it is still a price-sensitive market with stretched buyer affordability. Those who overprice risk missing out on the window of increased activity that could run at least until we approach the next Brexit deadline at the end of the year.”

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Meanwhile in Chiswick, an affluent district of west London, homes have maintained its above-asking prices for two major reasons: First for its prime location—the charming abodes of which in this upscale village are located near a stretch of pathway alongside the extensive historic River Thames, the accessibility to public transportation and routes going to the other parts of the city, as well as its proximity to several famous pubs and restaurants, including the Michelin-starred La Trompete, and The Bell & Crown. And second for a limited number of available homes up for sale in comparison with those from other areas.

Interestingly, while most homes stay on the market for about a hundred days, it may only take an average of 39 days for Chiswick homes to get sold.

Experts, however, say that buyer demand will only take place for a particular period. House prices are expected to flatten again towards the end of the transition period in December 2020 as soon as trade deal negotiations with the EU take place. “Trade negotiations will inevitably affect market confidence—both in attracting foreign investors and house builders who rely on European materials,” says Edward Heaton of property search and buying advisers, Heaton & Partners.

Eyeing suburban properties

Land shortage is becoming an essential issue in the city as most of its sites become fully built. Some of these include the regenerated Battersea Power Station, which is a mixed-use building that’s developed into flats, restaurants, and retail units; as well as some decentralised markets from Covent Garden to Smithfield Market. Also, there are the army barracks and hospitals that have been moved to the outskirts to make way for residential towers in its previous lands.

Buyers are now looking into properties in Zones II and III, which are made accessible by the construction of high-speed rail systems that ease long-distance trips, and keep travel time under 20 minutes–especially in places for work and leisure.

Despite considerable challenges that the UK has endured over the years, the country has remained politically stable and financially resilient, with only the pound experiencing a decrease in value. Manifestation of the country’s further strength is realized for one, in London’s bustling real estate activities that show how property purchases into a flat market that’s beginning to rise significantly can pave the way for excellent buying opportunities today.

Factsheet - page 1 - Jan 14

Improving regeneration properties

The Stratford Mills by Anthology is a promising canal-side development that takes pride in a selection of up to three-bedroom luxe-like apartment homes. The 75-unit building lies in the heart of east London among its most vibrant and international neighbourhoods.

Moreover, Stratford Mill is just a stone’s throw away from one of the significant regeneration projects—the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, from fast and frequent transportation going to the Canary Wharf where many professionals work, and a pleasant twenty minute walk to the Westfield Shopping Centre which is one of the most prominent urban shopping destinations in Europe.

To improve accessibility going to and from other areas of London, the Pudding Mill Lane DLR station connecting to the Stratford Station in two minutes is set to link with the Underground network, the Docklands Light Railway, the Eurostar, and the Crossrail, plus a good road network leading to the Heathrow Airport.

Stratford Mills, which is surrounded by well-manicured parks, lawns, and waterways, is set for completion by 2021.

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