Rental market expected to be stronger than sales in some parts of London

Taylor Scott International News

This year is expected to bring fewer sales and more letting transactions, with strong rental markets across London’s Midtown, City and Docklands, a new report suggests. There will be a two tier sales market with demand for properties up to £1 million continuing to attract buyers and a slower market at prices over £1 million, according to the latest report from property advisors and development consultants Hurford Salvi Carr. However, as the market slowed in 2014, two segments of the market bucked the trend, it reveals. ‘Demand for entry level one bed apartments continued to outstrip supply so that it will be no easier to buy a pied a terre in Central London in 2015 than it was in 2014,’ the report says. The other segment to buck the trend was Docklands, where demand strengthened, as buyers looked to East London, to deliver value for money, although plentiful supply kept a lid on price increases. Over the whole year, property prices rose by an average of 4% in 2014 in City, Midtown and Docklands. Strong demand from UK buy to let investors is expected in 2015 with a concentration on sub £750,000 levels where returns are most attractive. The firm also says that buyers from the UK dominated the residential markets in 2014, accounting for almost 70% of sales, in comparison to 54% in the first half of 2013 and 61% in 2013. Other European buyers also increased their share by a small margin but the big shift was in the proportion of Asian nationals, which dropped from 17% of sales in 2013 to 7% in 2014. Almost 70% of tenants who rented homes through Hurford Salvi Carr in 2014 were overseas nationals. Overall the split was 32% British, 31% other European and 37% from elsewhere in the world with Asians being the most dominant group within that. The Docklands attracted the highest proportion of British tenants at 43%, whereas Midtown attracted more Asian tenants and the City attracted more American tenants. The most common occupation for a tenant is in the financial sector, closely followed by students. The financial sector was more prevalent in the City and Docklands, where it made up over 30%, while students were by far the most common group in Midtown, where they accounted for 62% of all lettings. The relatively high proportion of Asian tenants in Midtown reflects the demand from overseas students at top universities such as UCL, King’s College and LSE. Continue reading →

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