The London Barometer May 2014

Thursday, May 08, 2014 by Douglas And Gordon

May 2014 / Sales

Market Comment

“The April sales market was affected by a late Easter causing some homeowners to put their plans on hold until after the holidays. This was reflected in a 35% decrease year-on-year in the number of new buyers registering. However, now that the spring market has truly begun, we have already seen more motivated buyers and sellers coming to the market.

“Overall it was a month of 10%’s, with 10% fewer properties being valued than this time last year resulting in 10% less property coming on the market. Despite this, 10% more offers were received indicating that there are serious buyers around who are possibly having to fight over available homes. However the number of sales agreed was lower than April last year, highlighting that some vendor’s expectations are possibly still too high and they are in turn, being less flexible on the price they are willing to accept.”

George Franks, Sales Director

May 2014 / Lettings

Market Comment

“Despite 25% fewer rental properties coming to the market in April, we saw a 20% increase in the number of new tenants registering, indicating increased competition in the London lettings market as we head towards the traditionally busy summer period.

“Tenants appear to be staying put and opting to renew their current contract instead of moving on, which is reflected by almost 15% fewer tenancies ending in April compared with last year.

“The current shortage of available top-end properties compared with the surplus of 1-2 beds, especially in PCL, highlights that landlords aren’t investing in houses as the yields are so low and due to growing concerns over a Mansion Tax coming into effect.

“The recently announced Labour Party proposals for new private rented sector controls are causing some concern as these don’t appear to be addressing the issues that tenants and landlords are currently facing in London. Much like the stock market, the lettings market is ruled by supply and demand. Introducing a price cap for annual rent increases may deter investors, which in turn will lead to an even lower supply of rental properties. With household numbers rapidly increasing and an ever widening affordability gap between incomes and property prices, the only way to reduce rents is to increase housing supply. To this end, there is a real need to continue to encourage institutional investors to invest in the sector.”

Virginia Skilbeck, Lettings Director