Beginner’s Guide to Buying Property in London

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London has always been a fantastic place to live. This is a city steeped in a rich history and culture, with gorgeous architecture, endless entertainment and a legendary music scene helping to create one of the most diverse cities on the continent. Packed with famous landmarks, beautiful parks and fantastic schools, London really is a place unlike any other.

Somewhat inevitably, the advantages of living in such a thriving city mean that property in the area will cost a premium. Buying a home in the capital is notoriously more expensive than other parts of the country, and you should never look to make such a substantial investment without knowing exactly what you’re doing.

You need to develop a full understanding of what’s happening in the market, the areas to invest in and which of London’s countless communities will suit you best. Fortunately, if you’re looking to buy property in London, we’ve put together a quick beginner’s guide to help you start building that all-important knowledge.

What is Happening to London House Prices?

London house prices are continuing to fall: which is fantastic news for first-time buyers, but incredibly concerning for those looking to sell up. The result is an incredibly stagnant property market, with owners not wanting to sell until prices rise again, and buyers remaining reluctant due to the risk of prices falling even lower.

The latest UK House Price Index shows that, in the year to February 2019, the average London property has fallen in value by 3.8%. More recent studies show that this figure has improved in the year to June 2019, however, as Rightmove states that prices have dropped by just 2% in the past 12 months, with the average home valued at just around £471,000—which is still far higher than the rest of the country.

Throughout the UK as a whole, the average house price increased by 0.6% in the year to February, with a clear divide between areas in the North and South. While London and other South Eastern regions continue to struggle, areas in the North West, East Midlands and North East continue to flourish, with prices rising by as much as 4%.

Of course, the fall in prices fluctuates throughout different parts of London, so the state of the market will largely depend on where you’re hoping to live. Affluent areas such as Kensington, for example, have seen prices fall by 7%, while property values have actually increased in the likes of Havering and Southwark.

Why are London House Prices Falling?

The brunt of the blame, rather predictably, is being laid at Brexit’s door. The uncertainty caused by the drawn-out negotiations is making many buyers and sellers hesitate, with even expert industry commentators unsure of how Brexit will affect the UK housing market.

Until a new prime minister has been chosen and the manner of Britain’s exit becomes much clearer, this damaging uncertainty looks set to continue. Buyers fear that a hard Brexit will see house prices plummet and plunge them into negative equity, while sellers are worried that prices will spike again after Brexit, meaning they’d miss out on huge amounts of money by selling up now.

Unfortunately, it seems that properties in the capital have been hit the hardest by this uncertainty and ambiguity. However, such a significant fall in prices can’t be solely blamed on Brexit, and the weaker housing demand can also be attributed to new mortgage regulations and tax increases in the region, while recent stamp duty reforms have also had an impact.

Keep an Eye on Transport Links

Location is everything when buying a property. The crime rates, schools and even the broadband speeds of the local area will inevitably have an impact on the value of a home, so you should always make sure that the neighbourhood lives up to the seller’s valuation.

In London, though, things are a little bit different, because the excellent transport links mean it’s incredibly easy to make your way around the capital. Although your choice of neighbourhood is undoubtedly still important, the fact that other parts of the city are just a short Underground trip away means that you shouldn’t be afraid of living a short way out from the centre.

With the highly-anticipated Crossrail network due to open in October this year – a rail line which runs through London from east to west- this sense of accessibility is only going to increase. The impressive transport links ultimately bring distant suburbs much closer to the city centre, meaning that all prospective buyers should check out nearby public transport before investing.

Find London Property at Blackmore Homes

Blackmore Homes currently has a fantastic property development in London. Based in the district of Ealing, our development is known as ‘The Park’, and comprises of 8 mews houses which all include 4 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. This exciting development is based just 15 minutes’ walk away from Ealing Broadway, offering the peace and quiet of suburban living along with easy access to the busy city centre.

Contact us today to learn more about The Park, or simply click the link above to see it for yourself!

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