Time to talk property with Hamptons, Savills and Romans
NEWS and views from Henley’s estate agents and property experts
NEWS and views from Henley’s estate agents and property experts. This issue, James Butler, senior residential sales manager at Hamptons in Hart Street, Stephen Christie-Miller, head of Henley sales at Savills in Bell Street, and Charlotte Mellor, head of lettings at Romans in Hart Street, choose their topics of discussionâ?¦
James Butler, Hamptons International
According to Hamptons’ research, it was a record year for £1millon-plus sales in 2014 — a total of 14,000 homes worth a total of £26billion traded hands for £1million or more. That’s a third up on the 11,000 sales in the £1million-plus price bracket in 2013 and two-thirds more than the 8,900 in 2007.
Growing prices, particularly in London and the South East, have put more homes than ever into seven-figure territory in 2014.
The growth of transactions above £1million in local markets points us to emerging and growing prime areas. In 2014 there were 16 local markets in particular that saw £1million-plus markets emerging, including Epsom in Surrey and Brentford in Middlesex [see chart].
It is likely that we’ll see the emerging £1million-plus areas continuing to grow as 2015 continues.
House prices are forecast to rise anyway, albeit at a slower pace of 4 per cent, and we expect the tide of London leavers to continue to push demand into prime markets.
The result will likely be more areas outside of the traditional London commuter belt making an appearance in next year’s list.
Henley has always been a popular location for Londoners to relocate to given the breadth of lifestyle it has to offer, such as excellent shops and restaurants, the quality of schools both state and private, and the delightful villages and countryside that surround Henley.
Whilst the market here has been slower than anticipated to take off since the recent election, the pace is gathering momentum with significantly more enquiries coming in for family houses in and around Henley.
With the coming of Crossrail in 2019, Henley is getting increasingly popular as journey times to London will become considerably faster.
Stephen Christie-Miller, Savills
The result of May’s general election has brought with it an element of political and economic stability, which has been positive for the property market.
We have witnessed a significant upturn in activity, buyer confidence and sales arranged.
The market below the £1million mark continues to be strong, with demand outstripping limited supply.
This in turn has often led to competitive bids in order to secure a property.
Family houses remain the most heavily in demand, with property in more rural locations beginning to see increased demand.
However, the anticipated acceleration of the £2million-plus market which, prior to May and amidst the ongoing rhetoric of an impending mansion tax, had been challenging, now shows signs of a marked improvement and increased sales.
The caution that remains with buyers is as a direct result of the increased stamp duty levies which were introduced by the chancellor in his Autumn Statement, the full implications of which may not have been fully realised in the first few months of this year.
For properties priced in excess of £2million, it is vital the stamp duty increase is considered prior to establishing a marketing price to reflect the increased cost to buyers.
As the year progresses and confidence continues to build, we anticipate the market will continue to grow in strength.
Indeed, our research department has predicted that house price growth will be strongest in the areas immediately outside London over the next five years, growing by between 19 per cent and 24.5 per cent, depending on value, location and condition.
In the meantime, our advice to vendors remains to price in accordance with current market conditions and to be patient.
Charlotte Mellor, Romans
With summer now upon us the rental market is once again picking up.
We are seeing tenants making serious offers on first viewings and in many cases multiple offers being received.
A recent example of this is a central Henley house which was only on the market for 24 hours before two offers were received.
Family homes in particular are seeing an increase in demand, with many families looking to move into catchment areas for the right schools, and ideally moved in by August to be settled and ready for term time.
With few family homes on the market the demand is high, and with the quality of the tenant key to many landlords, they’re in a good position to be able to cherry pick the ones that suit their situation best.