The Word with Robin Chatwin, Head of Savills south west London, considers that, despite market uncertainty, the year has got off to a good start.
The first quarter of 2019 has seen some interesting trends for the south west London sales market. Compared to this time last year, we’re up by around 40% on both viewings and applicant levels which suggests that people are motivated for their onward move and keen to get on with things and find their next home.
In our 10 offices across the region, the market is busy at all levels and in particular, we are noticing that there is demand at either end of the scale in terms of presentation and finish. We have seen a resurgence in popularity of unmodernised properties while there also continues to be demand for best in class homes that are high quality in every sense of the word. The appeal of the unmodernised home is in the creative control it provides a buyer to be able to produce their dream home; many will be thinking long-term and are willing to put in the time and the finances to get the perfect end result. Meanwhile there are others who want a turn-key home simply because it’s less time consuming and hassle free.
Only a couple of weeks ago we had an unmodernised family property that went to sealed bids and there are plenty of other similar examples from flats to larger houses, often in the most desirable roads or positions. This demonstrates another interesting trend we are seeing with an increasing number of properties going to sealed bids. In one week alone, we had six sealed bids on properties being bought by first-time buyers and families upsizing who wanted to secure the home they had fallen in love with. This increase in sealed bids highlights that the right property can and will demand a high level of interest if priced correctly.
According to our latest prime index, prices in south west London have experienced slight falls of around 1.1 per cent over the last year compared to nearly four per cent across prime central London. Buyers coming from more central locations in places such as Fulham and Chelsea still account for a significant proportion of local sales. Often they’ll be looking for a family house close to the golden formula of good schools, green spaces and great transport links.
Despite market uncertainty, the year has got off to a great start. As the rest of the year plays out, we expect to see continued appetite for people wanting to get on with their lives and move house to benefit from low mortgage costs and some great opportunities coming onto the market.