London is regaining its charm and drawing buyers back in
PCL is expected to see an influx of interest, with buyers gravitating back towards the city, as the “race for space” loses momentum. London hotspots in 2021 reflected the influence of the pandemic, leading buyers to move away from central London to outer suburbs like Wimbledon, Richmond and St John’s Wood.
Our clients were typically looking for detached houses, with outside space and an option for a short commute into central London. This is something we anticipate changing as buyers head back to inner London, giving attention to areas lacking interest in 2021.
There is one area at the forefront of buyer’s minds
Bayswater is the one to watch.
Having previously been considered a less desirable area, compared to its more swanky neighbours, it is becoming increasingly desirable. Buyers are comfortable returning to apartment living, as Hyde Park and Kensington Palace Gardens offer the reassurance of nearby public outside space for those buying a property without a private garden, patio or balcony. Although restrictions have eased, it is likely the pandemic will have a lasting effect on buyers, leading them to permanently consider outside space in their criteria when purchasing in London.
Super-prime developers Finchatton also believe in the area and recently launched new development ‘The Whiteley’, which will comprise luxury apartments, new retail space and a Six Senses Hotel. The new Park Modern development overlooking Hyde Park, in Bayswater also gives the area an added attraction, offering luxury, contemporary accommodation. And with Bayswater presenting considerably lower prices compared to its pricier neighbours, Notting Hill and Marylebone, it is the place to purchase, with good value for money and excellent long-term investment returns.
It’s one of the last, if not the last location in central London to be gentrified.
Whenever you have significant investment into an area, in the case of Bayswater, we are talking billions, it will have a positive knock-on effect on surrounding property values. It’s one of the last, if not the last location in central London to be gentrified. Bayswater has tended to languish at the £1,200-1,600 per square foot level, around half of what neighbouring Notting Hill and Mayfair can command. Even the luxury new builds being launched off plan in W2 at £3,000 per square foot look compelling when compared to the £5,000 per square foot plus that new builds on the other side of Hyde Park command. The re-vamping of Queensway, two luxury new build developments, and the arrival of a new Crossrail station means only one thing for Bayswater – the only way is up.
We are seeing an upturn in demand for apartments, but buyers are far more discerning than before the pandemic. Outside space and proximity to a good local high street are top of buyers wish lists. We are seeing a very tough market for sellers of ex-rental stock located in older new builds, some with cladding issues and which are poorly located and without outside space. There is no market for them, no matter how cheap they become.
Unfortunately, unless apartment listings are located near green space, and a great high street they are likely to be difficult to shift
Unfortunately, not all apartments will make the London-wide comeback a lot of sellers are hoping for. Buy-to-let has lost its attraction for many private landlords, meaning ex-rentals are flooding the market with an added surge in apartment listings; supply is at an all-time high, while demand is selective and lacking. So unfortunately, unless apartment listings are located near green space, and a great high street they are likely to be difficult to shift.
Off-market sales are on the rise
With the majority of buyers on the lookout for properties with the same criteria, is it becoming the norm to engage in bidding wars, leading to paying over the asking price. To combat this issue, an increasing number of properties are being sold off-market. Our role as a buying agent has therefore become key, ensuring prospective buyers can navigate the complicated property market. 2021 saw a record percentage of ‘off-market’ sales for our clients, as we went the extra mile to secure dream homes around the capital.
This year, we have invested in technology that allows us to map out the number of potential off-market properties that match our clients brief. We then analyse this data, looking at who owns the property, when they bought it and at what price. We can then make very targeted approaches. As we are not estate agents, our approaches are often warmly welcomed by owners who may be considering a sale but are yet to list their property openly with an agent.