90% of Black Brick’s deals involved apartments in H1 – up from 43% last year.
After falling out of favour during the pandemic, it seems demand for apartment living is well and truly back. A top buying agency in PCL has revealed that 90% of deals it’s been involved with so far this year have involved flats, up from 43% last year.
“Buyers are clearly bored of being out in the sticks, and are looking for the excitement of city centre living once again, particularly if they need to show their faces at the office,” said Black Brick in an update on its performance in 2023.
Other firms have also picked up on this trend recently, noting heightened demand for large lateral living spaces and generous proportions, especially new-builds, which offer high levels of security and service.
The latest analysis by Savills supports these observations: apartments have accounted for 44% of £5mn+ transactions across London year to date, up from 40% last year and just 28% in 2021.
Black Brick’s total deal numbers were up by 50% during the first three months of the year, compared to the same period last year. Demand for professional help has increased amid the challenging market conditions, said the firm. 90% of its clients were looking for either a main residence or an addition to their property portfolio; only one in ten were investors looking for properties to rent out.
40% of the buyers were British, and another 30% were from the USA. Others came from Bermuda, Italy and Nigeria.
The average discount to asking price achieved was 4%, which the team described as “good going since most of our buyers are looking for a really special property”.
Chiming with findings published by Coutts this morning, managing partner Camilla Dell noted the rising number of price cuts across the prime postcodes: “We are definitely seeing price reductions on vast numbers of properties right across PCL at the moment, including trophy homes in areas such as Mayfair, Belgravia and Knightsbridge,” she said, citing overpricing at the outset as the key reason: “Sellers are finally realising that if they want to sell, the price has to be realistic.”
Sellers are advised to have patience, while buyers should “avoid overstating their power” in the market, and “move fast” if a perfect property comes along.
Although overpriced homes are being corrected there aren’t crazy bargains to be had, added Dell: “To think that PCL is distressed and that prices are falling off a cliff would be far from the truth…It’s more of a recognition amongst sellers that the crazy inflated prices of last year are no longer being tolerated by buyers.”