Sixteen London neighbourhoods are in the top 20 buyers’ markets, where asking prices have dropped and homes are slow to sell, according to new analysis of the top buyers’ and sellers’ markets.
The areas highlighted in the research are traditionally among some of the capital’s most sought-after, meaning now could be a good time to bag a ‘bargain’ property while many people continue to abandon city centres during the pandemic.
Hoxton was the top buyers’ market for 2021, with nine out of 10 properties that have been listed for sale still available to buy, according to the research by Rightmove. This has led to asking prices dropping by six per cent year-on-year.
The property site revealed where in Britain the housing market currently leans towards sellers and where it leans towards buyers.
While it’s a sellers’ market in the South West of England, the market continues to overwhelmingly favour buyers in inner London, as people adapt to hybrid working and the continued “race for space”.
Central London neighbourhoods featured heavily in the list of the top buyers’ markets, with Chelsea, Bayswater, Knightsbridge, Victoria, Maida Vale, Finsbury and Stockwell in the top 10.
Other areas that are traditionally more expensive and have good public transport links became buyers’ markets in 2021 as office workers ditched the commute in favour of space and a garden.
Canary Wharf, Camden, Whitechapel, Southwark, Acton, Notting Hill, Fulham and Cricklewood were all on the longer list of buyers’ markets this year.
Home sellers were favoured in outer London and Home Counties areas, such as Grays, Bexleyheath, Orpington, Sidcup, Dagenham and Eltham, Rightmove said.
Buying in Hoxton
Henry Chisholm, head of sales at Keatons estate agents in Shoreditch, said they have seen “consistent” interest in Hoxton properties but the high-proportion of buildings subject to EWS1 forms guidance regarding cladding following the Grenfell tragedy meant buyers could be wary.
“Once that confidence is restored I think we will see a more fluid market in 2022,” he said. “That’s what buyers have been a little bit skeptical about.”
According to Chisholm, the demographic of Hoxton is young professionals who are attracted to what the “vibrant” area has to offer. With more of that demographic working from home during the pandemic, the market has slowed but he hopes it will pick up in 2022.
“I hope for a more consistent market but with a new variant involved it’s very hard to predict,” he added.
“You would like to think there wouldn’t be another lockdown and therefore a consistent market with consistent gradual growth. I’m hoping that will be the case. We’ve got a few new instructions lined up for early next year, and we’re hoping for more of a normal year.”
Oliver Mint, sales valuer at Foxtons Shoreditch, said he had seen a renewed interest in Hoxton since the end of September as buyers slowly returned to central London.
“Hoxton is a place people are looking to buy, as it offers good value for money in comparison to nearby areas such as Islington,” he added.
“The number of applicants registering with us is increasing, with the majority being first time buyers opting to dip back into the one-bedroom market which had gone a little quieter over the course of the pandemic. We have also seen a resurgence in the number of buy-to-let investors due to the extremely competitive lettings market.”
Buying in Chelsea
In Chelsea, 85 per cent of homes listed for sale are still available to buy, according to Rightmove. But estate agent Gabriella Krejci said the area continues to be popular with UK and international customers.
Krejci, sales manager of Foxtons Sloane Square, said: “The market has really taken off in Chelsea since September.
“When the local residents returned from their summer holidays we saw the pent up demand for Chelsea property come to a head.
“Our customers have been focused on pied-a-terres in the area to complement their new homes in the country. The most popular are flats which have the space for working and outside space following the change of lifestyle generated by Covid.
“We ended 2021 strongly, the last few months has been the busiest that I can remember. We are very excited about 2022, as we build on recent trends and changes to the market.”
Buying in Stockwell
In Stockwell 79 per cent of homes listed in 2021 are unsold, yet asking prices have risen by three per cent.
Paul Darko, sales manager at Atkinson Mcleod in Kennington, said he has seen a strong demand for ex-local authority properties, particularly three-bed flats.
“The appeal of Stockwell is that it is convenient for access to both Brixton and Clapham and excellent transport links,” he said.
“The architecture. while mixed, offers suitable mix of flats and houses from period Victorian terraces to attractive Georgian conservation areas most notably the much sought-after Stockwell Park conservation area.
“The outlook for 2022 for the area is stronger interest from prospective buyers as vendors come back to the market to satisfy the pent up demand that I feel is waiting to be unleashed.”
Buying in Canary Wharf
Meanwhile, in Canary Wharf, where asking prices have dropped one per cent year on year, experts have seen a real shift in the demographic of the market.
Lee O’Neill, head of sales at Knight Frank Canary Wharf, said it had traditionally been an area where people had bought properties as second homes or buy-to-let, but with a drop in demand and rents caused by the pandemic, many were choosing to sell. He also said tax breaks weren’t as good for more wealthy people.
“I would say six out of 10 of the deals we’ve done in 2021 have been people’s second homes or their rental investments.
“On the whole they are slightly less price sensitive so if they’ve got something that’s 100 per cent profit money in the bank, they’re probably slightly more willing to accept the price adjustments that were brought about by Covid pandemic and the lack of people working in and around Canary Wharf.
“So they’ve adjusted to the market and decided to sell for those reasons which has made it a little bit more of a buyers’ market.”
According to O’Neill, there is a real variety of people buying property in Canary Wharf. Traditionally the demographic is single career-focused people aged 25 to 35, but over the past 15 months, there has been a shift.
“Given how strong the market outside of London has performed, we’ve seen retirement age people that have sold bigger houses outside in the country actually come back,” he said. “They have bought a nice lifestyle flat overlooking the river and enjoy a little bit more than living in an empty house out in the country.
“They’ve generally bought our kind of trophy properties on the river with nice outdoor space. The type of property you get excited about showing and selling, they’ve generally been buying those. With property selling so well outside of London, and the market reaching a point where our part of London started looking like really good value for those people so they’ve come back into the market.”
O’Neill also said there was a lot of property stock in Canary Wharf because of the number of new-build completions including 10 Park Drive, 1 Park Drive and Landmark Pinnacle.
“We can’t deny that buyers have had a reasonable amount of choice of property and some of that property has been sensibly priced to make sure it sells so that’s a change in the market that’s definitely taking place,” he added.
“I do think a lot of those sensibly priced properties have sold already this year and a lot of the motivated sellers have actually exited the market already and I think we might see a sea change after the winter when I think the market might become a bit more even between sellers and buyers.”