Market comment – April 2016

Gary-4x3March, what a month!.

As investors rushed to complete by the March 31st, it would be no exaggeration to say that our team were working at a speed reminiscent of the property market at its absolute busiest. Speaking to solicitors and conveyancers, many had seconded extra staff to cover the deadline as any investment property purchase needed to be completed before the end of play on the 31st.

I have read that many purchasers were happy to pay extra solicitors fees as in some cases if they completed on the 31st they would be saving as much at £15,000 in stamp duty.

Turning to the mainly owner occupier market, recent figures from land registry reveal the average cost of a home in England and Wales stood at £190,275 in February. This is 6.1% higher than a year ago but down slightly on the January figure of £191,812. Land registry figures also showed that the annual price growth in London is running at 13.5% more than double the national average, with the typical price of a property in the capital now £530,368.

I was interested to read that there is fresh evidence just out that buyers priced out of London are readily switching their attention to more affordable areas within commuting distance and I am positive this is why Croydon has been identified as one of the hot spots around London, coupled with all the obvious developments and progress happening before our eyes.

It was also interesting that one of the national newspapers identified Crystal Palace as one of the top ten places to live in London and we are certainly experiencing this with the influx of prospective purchasers registering, which is up 16% on the same month last year. I myself visited the Crystal Palace triangle last weekend and was overwhelmed by how busy it was with most shops, coffee houses and restaurants remaining open.

There was an unexplained spike in the number of prospective tenants registering in March, 7% up on the same period last year and rents are 5/6% higher than the same month last year. Analysing these figures, there is now 7/8 tenants for every property available, with landlords understandably being very choosy with their tenants.

Our New Homes department broke all records in March with the obvious allure of completing before the 31st of the month and the momentum growing with investors both here and abroad realising what outstanding value Croydon, Crystal Palace, Purley and Coulsdon are.

I look forward to reporting to you in May with regards to Aprils developments in the housing market.


Gary O’Hare