The first half of this year saw London property prices rise sharply and we were inundated with buyers struggling to acquire on their own. Faced with a rising market, buyers were finding it very difficult to secure a property and it was not uncommon for selling agents to hold an open day on a Saturday, invite sealed bids on Wednesday and agree a deal by Thursday. Buying conditions were tough and it took focus, speed and confidence to win out over other buyers whilst undertaking the careful research required not to overpay. Whilst our clients won sealed bids in about 80% of cases, with all valuing up at survey, the cooling of the market is a welcome change.
Property prices in London increased by 26% year on Q2 2013 – a huge rise that was not sustainable. As we exit this fourth quarter the general election and interest rate rises are imminent and buyers are being more cautious and more price sensitive which has brought some much needed stability to prices.
The press continues to stoke fears of a housing bubble but tough new mortgage lending criteria has helped dampen price rises. Despite the media-driven anxiety, we are still seeing strong interest from buyers from both abroad and within London and best in breed properties continue to sell well.