In times of uncertainty home buyers who aren’t under any pressure to move often decide to postpone their purchasing plans. Put off by the risks of buying with an unknown future, potentially buying at a price that might not see immediate uplift. With this in mind, how can you tell that an area is a good place to buy a property?
The key factors we consider when deciding if an area is a good place to buy include the local infrastructure, transport, plans for regeneration and the condition of the local micro-economy.
Prime Central London
In the most prime areas of London, in terms of real estate, we are seeing some excellent opportunities for the savvy buyer. Where demand for property has been lower through the period of Brexit uncertainty we are seeing a turn partly driven by international buyers who are recognising the opportunity in a weakened pound.
Recent research revealed that in the second half of 2018 international buyers accounted for 57% of the transactions in Prime Central London. For some, it might seem surprising that EU buyers made up the greatest proportion of the international buyers.
When considering the risks of purchasing a property in London many have decided the low exchange rate outweighs any Brexit uncertainty.
As of February 2019 the City of Westminster has now recorded an annual change in price growth of 5.2%. Buyers are realising there is now good value to be found.
Whilst no one can confidently predict the ‘bottom of the market’ we’d recommend those pondering if now is a good time to buy in prime central London consider a little more seriously and review the current available opportunities.
Whilst there is currently opportunity to be found in Mayfair, neighbouring Marylebone is an attractive prospect, in some cases prices are recorded to be 30% lower than neighbouring areas. Marylebone exudes period charm, property style ranges from large Georgian houses to small mews properties on cobbled back streets. The area also boasts many independent boutique shops and eateries.
Marylebone is exceptionally well connected within the West End, within walking distance of many of the key locations and broader transport links. An exceptionally popular place to live, highly desirable properties here can change hands entirely off market as with many prime central London locations, discretion is often paramount.
Within central London Marylebone continues to offer opportunity with the added comfort of a well-established property market in a prime location.
Looking west, there are certain areas which have seen a rollercoaster, in terms of price growth and transaction levels, since the announcement of Crossrail but are now much more steady.
When considering a place to buy which offers some level of opportunity it’s important to also consider how well established the area is already to ensure you purchase a property with longevity.
As ‘up and coming’ areas go Hanwell has a lot of potential. It is already an established and popular place to live but often overshadowed by its well-known neighbour Ealing.
Hanwell will be located on the Elizabeth line when it opens, the journey to Tottenham Court Road will take just 15 minutes.
The area already has many small boutique shops and cafes and is only a short distance from many of larger chain stores available in Ealing.
There are many excellent properties available in the area, many period homes including large houses with generous gardens.
One sign of an areas popularity as a place to live having longevity is the success of independent shops in the area – Acton is one such place. Over the past few years Churchfield Road has seen new shops, cafes and delis open and thrive. Small independent businesses are often viewed as an indicator of prosperity.
The area saw a huge leap in its popularity and its property prices upon the announcement that Crossrail would stop at one of its many stations. Acton has excellent transport connections in place already; Acton Town is located on the District and Piccadilly lines, South Acton and Acton Central are located on the London Overground and West Acton and North Acton stations are on the Central line. The Elizabeth line will stop at Acton Mainline station; journey times to Bond Street will be 9 minutes, to Liverpool Street 16 minutes and to Canary Wharf 23 minutes.
Buying a property in 2019
The above are just a small selection of areas which present potential. The property markets across London are forever changing, each area has strengths and weaknesses and whilst we can indicate which areas overall present good opportunity it’s important to also consider an individual property’s immediate surroundings – is it on a good road? What’s the outlook? Are there plans for any developments?
If you’re looking for a property in London in 2019 and believe you might benefit from the guidance of a professional property finder please contact us for a no obligation discussion about our property finding service.