|Chiswick Property's 'Long Winter' Predicted to End|
New instructions reach record low as political uncertainty weighs on market
Political uncertainty and stamp duty changes are being blamed for a 'long winter' in the local property market which has seen volumes and instructions fall to record lows.
Fewer that 100 properties have been reported as being sold to the Land Registry so far this year and the RICS, the national surveyors' body, says that in April new instructions remained negative for a fourteenth month in a row at the national level, leaving average properties on estate agents books hovering close to record lows. They add that anecdotal evidence points to this decline continuing since the calling of a snap general election.
Prices in Chiswick remain stable with the average continuing to hover around the £1,000,000 mark in the first quarter of 2017 although some recent weakness in prices has been masked by the top end of the market remaining relatively more active. There still appears to be demand for large family houses with several transactions over the two million mark so far this year including one for £3,523,000 on Priory Avenue.
Despite the current gloomy picture some local estate agents are sounding a note of optimism and appear to be bucking the trend by seeing relatively brisk interest at their Chiswick offices. Some are looking forward to activity picking up soon as it is thought unlikely the General Election will throw up any surprises.
Christian Harper of HarperFinn says; "It is certainly true to state that actual activity is at an all time low in W4. In fact I think its the quietest in terms of actual numbers of sales that I have experienced in my 26 years in Chiswick property.
" Its certainly not the worst market but poor pricing advice is causing mayhem. If you are looking to sell your property to trade up to a more expensive house, it has never been better but please don't try to sell high and buy low. I am finding that the biggest issue is that a vast number of agents are still too frightened to inform potential clients that their house may be worth less than last year and thus the market is flooded with overvalued stock. When one agent doesn't sell it another is quick to suggest that they have unique buyers and will do better. Clients then change agents and then surprise surprise, the new agents doesn't sell it either.
"Now is the time to instruct agents that have experience in Chiswick.
Knowledge is real power in a complicated market. Brexit, SDLT increases
last year, a weak pound and a general lack of confidence has caused this
adjustment and unless clients are expertly guided they may as well hang
up their boots until after Brexit and not just until after the general
Paul Cooney, Director of Horton and Garton's new Chiswick office, says, "Whilst the first quarter didn't move at anything like the pace Chiswickians are accustomed to, we've had several new listings every week meaning quality properties are still coming to market across all price ranges.
"Buyers, who are registering their interest every day, seem to be holding their collective breath in anticipation of the general election results. Once the results are in, I predict a busy summer and autumn with buyers and renters who've been on the fence so far this year taking the plunge and making their move - striking while the proverbial iron is hot. In my experience, Chiswick buyers tend to be buying for themselves in the long term so a general election won't dampen their desire to move for too long."
He says that it is the current availability of low borrowing rates that makes it a good time to move and that the latest product data analysis shows that we are moving towards a period of cost and rate stability or even potential rises.
Paul adds, "Banks are developing interesting schemes tailor made to appeal to universally acknowledged 'bank of mum and dad'. Barclays Family Springboard mortgage plan is of note where a family member adds to a savings account which is then used as a deposit for a property worth up to £500k. Their savings continue to gather interest and are returned after three years with interest so you can still provide the bank of mum and dad without having to empty your coffers."
The average flat in Chiswick is currently changing hands for £548,523 and the average terraced house costs £1,159,143. Prices of these kind of properties in the area have traded within a narrow range over the last three years.
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist sees the lettings market as being stronger than the sales side. He said, "It is noticeable that the amount of new rental instructions coming through to agents is continuing to edge lower, which is not altogether surprising given the changing landscape for buy-to-let investors. One consequence of this is that rents are expected to continue rising not just in the near term but also further out and at a faster pace than house prices."
During March 2017 London was the worst performing region of the country according to the Land Registry with prices falling by 1.5% from the previous month to £471,742. Over the course of the last twelve months prices have risen by 1.5%.
For England as a whole prices are up by 4.4% in the year to March rising to an average of £232,530.
The number of completed house sales in London in January, the latest month for which figures are available, fell by 26.3% to 5,968 compared with 8,093 in January 2016.
If you want to receive regular updates on the Chiswick property market with informed comment from the best local agents sign up for our weekly e-mail newsletter by clicking here.
ChiswickW4.com is the only place that you will find detailed analysis of the Chiswick property market.
Roughly speaking the post code sector areas are as follows:
1 - Bedford Park and the north side of the High Road
2 - The south side of the eastern end of the High Rd down to the river at Corney Reach
3 - The Grove Park area and over to Strand on the Green
4 - The west of Chiswick between the A4 and Chiswick High Rd - (a high concentration of flats)
5 - The north west of Chiswick - Acton Green mainly