The transactions that have taken place both vendors and buyers have been willing to move on their expectation, but for much of the market there is at present a standoff.
With a global pandemic, you would assume that London’s Prime Central residential property market would be on its knees and that this would have been reflected in the fall of asking prices.
However, post lockdown, buyers have found that this is just not the case.
All vendors and agents would be concerned that with prominent International market missing due to travel restrictions that activity and sales would be non-existent.
Those residing in the UK have seen this time as a window of opportunity, fuelled by pent up demand going back as far as 4 years ago, with the uncertainty of Brexit and then a general election.
There has been an upturn in activity in sales immediately after lockdown and many buyers took advantage of the lack of competition from the normal volume of international buyers.
Those buyers slow off the mark are now experiencing stiff competition from an influx of buyers and all are facing a limited supply of new property.
We have buyers making offers substantially lower than vendors asking prices which has resulted on many occasions in a negotiation stalemate
The transactions that have taken place both vendors and buyers have been willing to move on their expectation, but for much of the market there is at present a standoff. I would urge that both sides be flexible. Sales are there to be done.
Whilst there is a restriction on International travel which has affected demand from overseas buyers, we have been inundated by strong interest from one segment of the international market – Hong Kong residents.
Ongoing political unrest in Hong Kong has increased the attraction of the safe haven, that is the Central London Property market. The British Government has offered a path of up to 3 million Hong Kong residents UK Citizenship for holders of British National Overseas (BNO) passports.
This potential influx of buyers for whose property is the highest pound per sq ft in the world, makes London’s market look like great value.
The currency swing since the peak of sterling in 2014, has meant buying in Hong Kong or US dollar provides a 25% saving against the pound. If you factor the fall in capital value of property since 2014 in London, a Hong Kong buyer would be seeing a 40-45% discount on London property.
There is no doubt uncertainty will remain with the restrictions of Covid-19 but we have seen investors turning to long term security like precious metals gold and silver. This is normally a sign that smart investors will be looking to take advantage of these uncertain times and look to invest in the safe haven that is the prime residential London property market.
Finally, the Chancellor announced cuts to stamp duty set to run until the end of April 2021. This would be a saving of £15,000 for those buying a home over £500,000 or more. While for many buying at the upper end this will not be a deciding factor, it reconfirms that the Government remains committed to the ongoing success of the UK housing market.
We wish everyone to be well and if we can offer advise or help in your property matter, please do contact us.