18th July 2022

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Understanding the London Property Market

The London Property Market is complex and attracts some of the highest valuations in the UK across rental, owner-occupied and commercial property alike. According to the UK Government’s English Housing Survey in December 2021, less than a quarter (22%) of London residents owned their home outright, 29% owned with a mortgage, 27% rented privately and 22% were social renters in 2020-21.

While there is a common perception that people live in London because that is where they work, this is not always the case. The capital’s nightlife, culture and designer-brand retail all attract residents too, while for some the opportunity to invest in London property creates long-term appeal in pursuit of substantial capital gains, rental yields and total return on investment.

Prime Central London is one of the most sought-after locations on the planet, bringing in significant investment both from British property buyers and from international investors, as well as commercial development by some of the biggest multinational names in the construction sector.

What is Prime Central London (PCL)?

Prime Central London (PCL) is a loosely defined area around Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, The Mall and the Westminster estate. With the River Thames at its eastern border, PCL stretches from Covent Garden and Big Ben to the west end of Kensington and Holland Park. Its northern perimeter touches Regent’s Park, while its southern edge is again bounded by the Thames.

The PCL area holds some of the greatest appeal for foreign investors and, because of this, PCL property will often outperform the UK market during an economic downturn. This puts locations including Belgravia, Knightsbridge, Mayfair, Notting Hill, Kensington and Chelsea at the forefront of the South East property market, as the epicentre of a highly sought-after region that spans London, the South East and the Home Counties.

Black Brick is based in Mayfair with a strong focus on PCL properties. Since 2007, we have secured more than £1 billion of residential property for our clients and are now established as the primary property experts for several of the leading private banks.

Why buy in London?

London’s appeal is not limited to any one aspect of life. As a true 24-hour economy with a cosmopolitan culture, there are many varied reasons why people from the UK and abroad choose to purchase property in the capital.

Residential attractions

The allure of London, and especially of residential properties in Prime Central London, is often based on quality of life. For adults, there are a great many leisure and culture opportunities, hospitality and foodservice establishments, and global brands which may have a single UK presence in London.

For families, PCL offers access to high-quality schooling, including prestigious British fee-paying schools. These hold particular appeal for overseas nationals who may want their child to learn English in a respected educational institution, who or may want the prestige for their child of having attended a highly regarded school such as Harrow.

Business attractions

London is an attractive location for some of the world’s biggest businesses. At the Confederation of British Industry’s 2021 Annual Conference, CBI director general Tony Danker noted that ‘the most productive parts of a sector’ including company headquarters are often in London and the South East, with the rest of the UK serving as a ‘branch line economy’.

He added: ‘According to ONS data looking at regional productivity in 17 broad economic sectors, London ranks number one in 13 sectors, and the South East also has a top-three ranking in 13 sectors.’ There are numerous reasons for this, ranging from the UK’s relatively low corporate tax regime, to London’s position on the Prime Meridian making it the default reference time zone for other locations around the world.

Investment attractions

For private investors, the PCL property market is a sensible long-term prospect. Despite occasional short-term fluctuations in the UK market, as mentioned above, PCL and surrounding areas will often fare better or recover their value more quickly after any downturn.

Prime London property is therefore an excellent store of value, making it a popular choice for international buyers looking to preserve wealth in the form of physical assets, with a price tag in pounds sterling. At the same time as generating long-term capital gains, properties can be rented out to recoup rental yields, further enhancing the total return on investment.

What is a buying agent?

As independent property specialists, Black Brick acts on behalf of the buyer, providing expert and impartial insight into the property market. This sets a buying agent apart from an estate agent, who works exclusively for the seller and is therefore incentivised to achieve the highest price.

As our extensive case studies demonstrate, Black Brick is particularly expert at finding elusive and unique properties before they come onto the open market and, as aggressive negotiators, we often save our clients far more than our fee. Over 90% of our clients are referred by a previous Black Brick client, or by one of the many financial institutions who recommend our services.

Our award-winning team has over 100 years of combined experience in the South East’s prime property sector and has seen several UK property market cycles since Black Brick’s founding in 2007. With a range of additional bespoke services, including vacant property care, managed sales and property management, we provide our clients with the knowledge and support needed to navigate London’s prime property market.

What is the London property market doing now?

The Black Brick Monthly Market Update provides a snapshot of what the London property market looks like right now. You can read it on our website at any time.

Each month, we take an updated look at UK, South East and London house prices, with a particular focus on PCL locations. We commission our own research into emerging trends and consider seasonal effects on the market.

We also highlight some of our most lucrative and inspiring acquisitions from the previous month, to give you a glimpse into our most recent activities on behalf of our clients in the Prime Central London property market and surrounding areas.

To find out more, contact Black Brick today.

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We’re ready when you are

We would be delighted to hear from you to discuss your own property requirements. For a non-obligatory consultation, please contact us.

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