Islington is “one of the toughest” locations in London to be a prime property buyer, say Coutts bank and buying agency Black Brick. The number of homes available to buy in the area has plunged by nearly a third in the last year, while demand has been rising.
29% fewer properties were listed for sale in the Islington and King’s Cross area in Q2 this year compared to last year, according to LonRes, leaving overall stock 32% lower.
At the same time, Black Brick has seen a “sharp rise” in buyer interest – particularly from wealthy tech professionals looking for period homes with easy access to the Central London.
Around half the enquiries received by buying agency this summer have been from British buyers wanting to upsize to a house in Islington, typically with a budget between £1.5mn and £3mn. “Stock is severely limited, and competition is high, meaning more and more buyers are turning to buying agents for help,” explains the team.
The average buyer in Islington negotiated a meagre 1% off their new home’s original asking price in Q2, according to LonRes. For comparison, the average discount across prime London is currently around 6%.
“The Islington property market is highly competitive,” says Tom Kain, Senior Property Consultant at Black Brick. “We have seen a great deal of pent-up demand for houses in the area. Buyers are drawn to three storey terraced period houses which have been newly refurbished. Our clients have predominantly been in the tech industry and are drawn to Islington because of its proximity to The City and the West End, and its family friendly lifestyle.”
One of the buying agency’s recent acquisitions illustrates the trend. The firm secured a six-bedroom Regency house in Highbury for £3.45mn, following “many months” of searching Islington, Canonbury and Highbury on behalf of a client with “very specific requirements”.
The 3,2000 sq ft semi-detached property (pictured below) on Hamilton Park West features a 65-foot garden and private off-street parking.
Black Brick founder Camilla Dell flags a wider movement of affluent buyers from Prime Central London towards the capital’s leafier fringes, including Highbury, Fulham, Battersea, Hackney and Shepherds Bush. “These prime outer London areas have proven highly popular as many buyers aim to get more for their money, gaining gardens or outside space and home offices, as well as a great square footage,” she explains.
Looking ahead, the BB team expects some of the heat to come out of the prime London market through the Autumn. “We expect that prices in Islington may slow in the coming months due to the area being susceptible to rising interest rates, as many buyers take debt to buy in the area,” says Kain.