Despite the past year being challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the London property market proved remarkably resilient. Buyer demand was at high levels across Greater London as many buyers and investors took advantage of the stamp duty holiday.
At the end of 2020, Chestertons’ pipeline of deals in London was 53% higher than the year prior. Buyer enquiries were also up by 49%. With this strong demand, house prices rose by 3% in Greater London during 2020.
What’s in store for 2021?
After a strong year of growth, Chestertons expects prices in Greater London to drop by 2%. However, prices in central London are forecast to stabilise and rise by 2% in other prime locations in the capital.
Even after the stamp duty holiday ends, there is still expected to be a significant number of buyers in the market with the financial strength and confidence to move. Interest rates are set to remain low, and the banks are still keen to lend. And as the pandemic has also impacted what buyers are looking for in a property, the market is expected to continue moving but at a slower rate than last year.
Additionally, overseas buyers are expected to return to the market in substantial numbers. London remains an attractive option for overseas investors as a safe haven. The pound is expected to remain relatively weak against major currencies. And with the recent BNO passport changes, more Hong Kong buyers and investors are expected to enter the market in the capital.
Lifestyle changes impacting the property market
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many of us to spend more time at home and start working remotely. Because of this, many desire larger properties. Home working and flexible working arrangements are expected to remain for many even after the pandemic ends. To better facilitate this, dedicated office space and high speed internet are becoming top priorities for many buyers.
Additionally, having outdoor space, even if only in the form of a balcony or roof terrace, has also become important. On top of that, many have altered their work-life balances and are looking at properties that provide more unique features and amenities that fall in line with their reassessed priorities.
In London, villas and townhouses can provide appealing alternatives to houses. These are especially great options for buyers who don’t have the budget for a house in the capital, but they want more space than an apartment can offer.
Townhouses and villas often come with appealing amenities, such as private patios, terraces and balconies. And some even offer communal gardens and access to a gym or swimming pool, which will become especially attractive once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. During 2021, buyers are expected to put more emphasis on finding properties that fit with their new lifestyle changes.
Chestertons has a range of townhouses for sale across London, take a a look below and get in touch for more details