A 'Rollercoaster Year' For Chiswick Property Ahead?
Local agents make their predictions for the market in 2016
Chiswick estate agents believe this could be a 'rollercoaster' year for local property, with increased tensions in the Middle East, tumbling Chinese share prices, stock shortages and stamp duty changes adding to potential volatility.
Christian Harper of HarperFinn said, "2016 could be the rollercoaster year. Chiswick property prices will either increase by at least 10% - 15% to fill the void of transactions that didn’t happen in 2015 due to stamp duty changes, amendments to lending criteria and world economics, or the prices will take a 10% dip as China’s stock prices and worldwide market pause for breath."
Chiswick's top priced property of 2015 to date
With the New Year just arrived and business starting again after the holidays, some agents said that while it was difficult to predict the market for the year ahead, it was unlikely that things would remain static. Others believed that the market would hold "steady" but would not prove to be a bumper year for price rises.
James Matthews of Whitman & Co was more cautious in his outlook than most, and predicted that it would be a "stable" year for Chiswick property. He expected the recent flurry of activity ranging around the sales of flats to scale down by the end of February, ahead of the expected 3% stamp duty rise in April. He said, "I think we will have a stable year and Chiswick will continue to be popular. Obviously there are concerns about what's happening in the Middle East and over oil prices etc but prices were quite stable last year and I see that playing out over the coming year too."
2015 appears to have been a year when local property prices marked time. In the year to September 2015 prices were up by 1% overall with smaller sized units doing better during the year. The overall average in W4 hovered close to the one million during the course of the year.
Higher stamp duty for larger properties dampened activity at the top end of the market. The highest priced sale of the year reported to the Land Registry so far, a house on Addison Grove which went for £4,250,000 is 'only' the twelfth most expensive sale of all time in the area.
Andrew Nunn of Andrew Nunn & Associates (pictured right) was of the view that there would be no more than 3-4% growth in the market this coming year. He believed it would be a "steady year" and added that overseas buyer demand had dropped dramatically in the past year. The market in Chiswick heavily depended on local buyers who were faced with a limited supply, and factors such as stamp duty and fees which meant there was often not a lot of choice for their budgets."
Other areas of London make experience a higher level of volatility due to their dependence on buyers from Asia and the Middle East who are widely expected to continue to be less active this year. Supply also remains tight in Chiswick although some major developments are in the planning stage and anecdotally there appears to be a continue trend to extend rather than sell properties with some local property experts predicting a big increase in applications to build basements this year. The shortage of property coming to the market continues to put upward pressure on prices in the short term.
Christian Harper (pictured right) said , "Already this year I am meeting clients that are seeking 10% increases to asking prices stating that 'new year means new pricing'. I am inclined to feel that the market will rise and thus my New Year's message is to be optimistic with pricing, whilst appreciating that clients may need to be proactive with price reductions after the property has been on the market for more than 4 weeks."
The latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey which collates the views of surveyors confirms that house prices in London may also be driven up by the continuing long-term shortage of stock
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist commented,
January 10, 2016