The property pain for hard-pressed London homeowners trying to sell is not letting up one bit thanks to the uncertainty of Brexit, high stamp duty charges and “stretched affordability”.
According to research by UBS reported in the Financial Times earlier this month, London homes are taking an average of 128 days to sell, over 4 months.
That compares to an average of 77 days in 2016.
Slowness in selling means sellers are being forced to drop their prices. UBS found that 39% of listed properties had been discounted.
The research revealed the average discount as 2.6%…but in Kensington & Chelsea the discount was over 4%.
There seems little prospect that London properties will sell faster in the near future.
The predictions are for the London property market to remain sluggish in 2019.
Projected growth for London house prices in 2019:
Cluttons is even more pessimistic – it believes London prices could fall by 10% over the next 18 months.
JLL is one of the few observers expecting London prices to climb in 2019 (by 1.5%).
However the dominant picture remains one of uncertainty.
A favourable Brexit outcome could lead to a “Brexit bounce” in the economy and house prices.
Conversely a “disorderly Brexit” could lead to price falls even greater than predictions and something on the lines of Mark Carney’s worst case scenario of a 35% reduction over 3 years.
The most likely scenario is that London sellers will have to endure another year of pain as they wait months to find a seller, and will probably have to discount to do so.
There are however, few signs of a widespread collapse in prices.
One smart thing sellers can do as they wait for market conditions to move in their favour is to fix up and improve their home to maximise the price when they eventually sell.
There are at least 40 ways to add value to a home.
Of course bad news for sellers is good news for buyers – especially first time buyers who, of course, don’t have to worry about selling a property before they can buy.
According to Hometrack, London prices fell by 1.67% in 2018, taking the average price of a property to £653,587. A further fall in 2019 will be great news for buyers.
If you are looking to buy in London, this year seems likely to be a good year. However, if you are looking to sell this may be the year where you sit tight and wait for things to improve.
8 fab ways to add value to your home (things to do to add value to your property)
Always add value before you sell (3 reasons to up your home’s value before selling)
Raise funds by remortgaging (borrow funds to add value by a remortgage)
40 ways to add value to a home (a must use action list for savvy homeowners)
The value of an extra room (adding value to a property by adding an extra room)
Is yours a “wow” property? (wow factors you can give your property when selling)
What do you think is going to happen to the London housing market in 2019? Please leave your observations or comments below.
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Rebel Property Coach
My website is: www.rebelpropertycoach.com