Last year the sales market in London was exceptionally strong with demand outstripping supply. It became easier to get a mortgage, Help to Buy was launched and increased media coverage regarding house price increases spurred people on to buy sooner rather later.
In 2013 we saw price increases of around 10%. Our popular open day programme generated some extraordinary results that demonstrated the huge demand for property in our key areas – it was not uncommon for a property to sell within a week of coming onto the market, often for above the asking price.
In 2014 we expect demand to continue outstripping supply as better mortgage availability and Help to Buy ensure more financial products are available for buyers.
As for lettings, there has been a shift in the market that we expect to continue into 2014. Landlords need to invest in their property, which may mean redecorating or laying new carpet, in order to attract good tenants and achieve the rents they want.
What we’d like to see in 2014 is compulsory licensing of letting agents. It might be one for the wish list, but compulsory licensing is the only way to ensure high standards in the current unlicensed lettings arena.
In 2013 we ran a poll locally to see what their main priorities were when choosing an area to live in. 70% said transport links, and this year in London we expect transport to continue to be the main priority when choosing an area to buy or rent in.
Spencer Lawrence & Robert Lazarus