Property in Canary Wharf is always in demand, but interest in the area has reached higher levels than expected for a January. We spoke to Matt Johnson, our Canary Wharf sales manager, to discover what’s happening in the marketplace right now.
Why is interest so high right now?
2016 was a year of uncertainty thanks to political, social and economic pressures, with buyers sitting on their hands waiting to see what direction the London property market would take. However outside of those external factors the fundamentals of London property remain unchanged – London is still a cultural and economic capital with property remaining in high demand.
The large prices increases seen in previous years may not have materialised in 2016, yet prices remained solid with gains still to be had. It seems that buyers were waiting for the start of 2017 to start moving; buyers have taken the decision to act now rather than wait for a correction in the market which hasn’t happened.
Is this level of interest higher than usual for January?
In the first eight working days of 2017 we registered half as many buyers as the whole of January 2016. If this level of interest continues, new buyer enquiries will be double that of January 2016.
At the end of the day cash held in the bank is still yielding no return. You rarely make money from taking no action, so it seems like people are just as keen to invest in the London property market than ever before.
Is there a certain type of property that’s seeing demand?
All of the sales agreed in Q4 2016 and so far in 2017 have been below the £1m mark. In my view buyers at the £1m plus level remain cautious; they’re likely to already own one or more properties so already have an interest in the London property market and are under no pressure to invest further and risk over exposure.
However they are likely to have many other investment avenues which may be coming under increasing pressures as the financial markets fluctuate, and this may steer them back towards London property as it’s still a relatively low risk investment comparatively. This combined with the increases in SDLT on second homes and much higher yields on lower value properties make the sub £1m market a more attractive investment.
What’s going on in the mortgage market?
First time buyers hit a 10 year high in 2016, with 335,750 buying their first property. This was an increase of 7.3% from 2015 and the highest figure since the credit crunch started in 2007.
2017 is a good year for borrowers so far with plenty of competitiveness in the mortgage market. There are some reduced rates and a few strong fixed rates on offer, so please get in touch if you’d like to speak to our preferred mortgage brokers.