Residential Market Comment Q1 2024

As the year fly’s past we are heading to the end of the first quarter of 2024, if you can believe that. Looking back over the opening months of the year we are seeing a sales market returning to something more reminiscent of the pre-pandemic era. Prime central London is once again firmly on the map as a place to live, work and enjoy easy access to Europe for many buyers. The attraction of working from Greenwich Mean Time is still a popular draw for companies trading with America and the far East.


The domestic market is also showing extreme resilient and buoyance with vast numbers of buyers registering and the continual problem of lack of good stock driving prime central London prices ever upwards.


In a market with a finite number of properties there is always going to be the problem of a lack of stock. This is not something new and has been one of the defining factors of prime central London since the end of the Second World War. First time buyers always struggle to find affordable apartments and houses and many buyers who are moving up the chain, find that selling their property in a timely manner to purchase the next one is a tricky task. Landstones have seen this market characteristic become extremely acute in the family house market. The number of buyers we have registered on our books looking for family homes is the largest we have ever had. Houses between 8 and 10 million are extremely scarce and any properties that do come onto the market command an even larger premium price than normal. Many of the best in class houses we have launched this year have seen a frenzied viewing schedule as soon as they hit the market.


The mortgage market has been a stormy sea for the last couple of years with interest rates exploding out of the blocks after several conservative Prime Minister had to go at the job and we found to be wanting. With inflation on its way down and seemingly under control the Bank of England have indicated this may be the peak for interest rates and they’re looking to bring them down once inflation settles at around 3.5%. As a reaction to this, many banks are able to calibrate their mortgage product for only a few months so products are coming into the market and then being withdrawn in quite short order, however countering this is the fact that there are a record number of mortgage products available in the marketplace, more than we have ever seen before. Landstones advice to any buyer is to engage with a good broker who has access to the entire market and keep in touch with them updating products throughout the search process for a property.


This may be a well-trodden line now, but the lettings market is setting record after record for rent achieved across-the-board. Many landlords who are renting through Landstones are reaping the rewards of higher rents after a long period of feeling a little left out and slightly hard done by from government legislation designed to quell letting market. Unfortunately this government seem to have the wrong end of the stick and feel that driving landlords from the market will somehow bring rents down, unfortunately this is having the opposite effect of reducing the number of properties available and forcing prices up due to supply and demand in balance.


Coming into the spring market, Landstones are registering vast numbers of very good quality tenants, many coming from Europe in the banking sector as well as families coming from America and large numbers of applicants from the Middle East who are relocating to London for the summer.


Overall, we are seeing some very positive green shoots in the market for both sales and lettings. Landstones are carrying out record numbers of viewings and are desperately in need of more stock to let and properties to sell. If you are thinking of letting or indeed selling your property we would love to hear from you. Our expert team are happy to help with any advice property valuations and marketing strategy and look forward to hearing from you.

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