A dramatic decline in the growth of the London property market continues to emerge this year, with sales and purchases flatlining in the current climate. Until 2016, the Capital was the fastest-growing property market in the region, yet the area has continued to fall ever since.
In fact, the growth rate has halved within the past year, showing the rate in which London’s market has significantly slowed. The biggest impact seems to be because people in their early 30s and 40s are making an exit out of London- an age range who make up a sizable portion of the city’s population. This might come as a surprise to some, with the Capital typically one of the most desirable and sought-after locations to snatch up a property in the UK. And, whilst there are parts of London where this still stands, the current climate is much more challenging (in general) at present.
The cost of living means that many families feel too financially-stretched to stay. Whilst wages have crept up across the nation, many households find that their income fails to catch up with the cost of everyday living. Also, the cost of living is accelerating all over the country, and this appears to be one of the main factors for families to be moving out of the capital and instead into more affordable areas.
In addition to this, the London property marketplace has been confronted by a combination of uncertainties, including Brexit, fewer foreign buyers, and an increase on stamp duty- all of which have attributed to new buyers steering clear.
Those that hope to sell up and move out of London face a tricky time. For many, moving to a more affordable area is appealing right now. However, house prices within London are at an all-time low, leaving residents unsure on the ‘best time’ to take their house to market. Coupled with low asking prices and more property ‘sitting’ on the market, it’s getting much tougher to sell.
However, there are certainly strategies you can put in place to improve your chance of selling in the current climate. One practical solution for Londoners is to get an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which can help you to achieve a higher asking price (or help your property sell faster.)
An EPC survey will allow any potential buyers to consider how energy efficient (and how cost-effective) your home is, because the survey provides key details on how energy is ‘saved’ in your home. The survey includes items such as insulation, window types, property heating systems and lighting used inside the home. And whilst an EPC is very informative for buyers, it could be the real tipping point for a potential buyer to ‘bite the bullet’ and make their purchase!
Not only is it beneficial for a buyer to be well-informed about a property, but an EPC can help to showcase whether a property is modern or has been kept up to modern standards. A higher EPC rating will suggest that a property has higher energy efficiency. This ‘tells’ buyers that they will have minimal maintenance costs in the property- an appealing prospect for many home owners! A higher rating also implies that the current home owner has ensured the property is well maintained and kept up-to-date with saving strategies.
Where an up-to-date EPC will really come into play is when there is competition between properties for sale. If there are similar properties to yours on the London market, then a buyer might be swayed by which property has a better energy-saving rating, because this will save the most money in the long run.
Finally, having an EPC done before putting a property on the market can be very beneficial for a seller. This is particularly true if your property requires some TLC, as a survey can report back areas to help improve energy efficiency in your house. This is not to say that you suddenly need to restyle and re-install your properties appliances, but instead that you could use a different type of lightbulb, for example, or update your heating system.
Keeping your property up-to-date will make it more appealing to potential purchasers, both when they view it and when they get to reading about it. As a hopeful buyer gets to grips with the finer details of your property, an EPC can help you to sell. It could be the difference for you- and give your property more appeal in the flatlining London marketplace.