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Our CEO Richard Palfreeman gives you the inside track on the sales & lettings market in February 2014

17 Feb 2014

Although it may be wet and cold out there the property market remains hot in all areas. Customer confidence seems to be increasing and the fear created as a result of limited stock and competing offers seems to be as fierce as ever; meaning every buyer needs to put themselves in the best position possible in order to ensure the best outcome.


Richard Palfreeman, our CEO providing ongoing training to the Northfields team.

I have devised my own equation to apply to the current property market:

Confidence + Fear – Supply = Value

If you apply this to present market conditions, I would suggest now is a great time to move as the demand we have seen in the last six weeks has been staggering and I believe this is set to continue for a while yet. If you’re thinking of selling or letting your home time why not take the first step by calling in your local agent to get an update on how much your property is worth as you may be in for a surprise.

Record prices in Pitshanger

To provide you with an example, last summer our Pitshanger Sales office sold a house in Bellevue Road, W13 for a record price of £700,000. They were recently instructed to sell a similar property in the same road for £830,000, amounting to a price increase of 18.57% based on the asking price alone. Following a successful open day, they received four offers over the asking price and agreed a sale for 25% more than that achieved last year.  What a difference 6 months can make!

Bellevue Road for sale with wallpaper
At Northfields we set the record price in Bellevue Road and have broken our own record just 6 months later

Although the media are quoting impending doom, this isn’t reflecting what we are seeing.  We are heavily oversubscribed with qualified buyers, and are currently conducting 27 (on average) viewings for every open house.

Competition between buyers is fierce

Prices in recent months have been exacerbated by low levels of stock, which has led to increased competition amongst buyers and ultimately further increases in price. Whilst it’s always difficult to comment with any degree of certainty on a house price bubble, it would appear that this is not a concern for many of today’s buyers. Many feel confident in the fundamentals of the property market across the capital and also confident in their ability to pay back their mortgages.

Property inspections for sales valuations have picked up considerably and we have seen a 28% increase in serious movers this month compared to January last year.  Many potential vendors are encouraged by the increase in value in the local area since they last sought our advice and with the continued surge of interest, we are advising vendors to prepare their properties for the early spring market.

5 tenants to 1 per rental property

Silvia Eldawi, Northfields’ Lettings Director keeps you up-to-date on the lettings market in West London

The lettings market continues to be buoyant with values on new and well-presented properties increasing. Silvia Eldawi, our Lettings Director says: “West London is a rentals hot-spot and demand is outstripping supply at a ratio of five tenants to one property. Many properties are let within a couple of days of coming on the market and some are not even advertised because so many tenants are already registered.”

Since the start of the year we have seen tenants realising their new year’s resolutions of up-sizing, downsizing or moving closer to good transport links. Whilst the economy is showing signs of improving, there has been a shift in the mentality of tenants, as they are more cautious with how they spend their money. It’s not so much about whether they can afford a property, it is more about the perceived value.

There is also an increasing pattern of tenants wishing to rent for longer to ensure more security of tenure, who typically would only consider moving if it would result in a significant annual saving in rent, resulting in a much more competitive and price sensitive market. With capital appreciation strong, we have seen an increase in professional landlords looking to increase their portfolios as they are experiencing good yields with the comfort that their investment is growing.  Sourcing good quality, fully referenced tenants through a reputable agent is key, as you want to ensure you protect your asset as much as possible.

What’s important to you when selling or letting property

With three offices in Ealing, and an office in Shepherds Bush and Paddington we cover all of West London. We believe that these are some of the best areas in London to live (and work of course); with a fantastic and diverse selection of properties and wonderful amenities on the doorstep.

The small things, such as talking to our clients regularly, providing feedback for every viewing and quickly returning telephone calls and replying to emails ensure we set ourselves apart from our competitors.  And the excellent prices we achieve speak for themselves.

Enjoy the Half Term break and I look forward to speaking with you soon, either via Twitter @northfields or call our team on 020 8740 6622 for your free valuation or for more advice on the West London market.

Richard Palfreeman