Douglas & Gordon’s February 2010 Market Report

Thursday, March 11, 2010 by Ivor Dickinson

Residential Sales

For the second month running, the amount of property available for sale is steadily growing.  It is still less than this time last year, but only by 7%.  The number of new properties coming to the market is also healthy - not as many as in January, but still 40% more than February 2009 and likewise valuations are up 32% for the same period.

There is still a strong desire to invest in London property with sales applicants remaining at the same high level as January and the number of sales agreed higher than in any of the previous 12 months and 38% more than February 2009.

Prices in Central London will therefore continue to rise, as heavy demand remains. However, with more stock slowly becoming available, the rate of price growth should begin to slow.

Residential Lettings

We reported last month how concerned we were about the lack of supply in the rental sector and regrettably, February figures have not provided any reason for optimism.  The last time D&G did so few rental valuations was December ’08 (not a notoriously busy month in any year).  The total number of properties available to let fell again in February, although only fractionally, but it is still 68% less than this time a year ago.

In January, Douglas & Gordon reported more prospective tenants registering than ever before.  However, in February, registrations fell back to a more normal level, similar to this time last year.

The reason for this continued lack of stock is predominantly landlords deciding to sell as the value of their property recovers. Even though the demand for rental property is slowing (because investing is now seen as a better option and because seasonally this is a quiet time of year), rental values will still continue to rise because of the continued lack of stock.