When it comes to selling your home, it helps hugely if you can get an insight into the mindset of buyers to find out the things they most desire.
For many, location will be a key consideration. And, more than that, the amenities on offer in the local area where they are looking to buy.
New research by a property website has now revealed the amenities that British people are most interested in – with some slightly surprising results.
The rising influence of budget supermarkets
For many years, British buyers have typically looked for homes which fall in the catchment area of a good or outstanding school. Now, though, a study suggests that proximity to discounter supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl is a more important priority.
Some 39% of those surveyed said they would like to live close by to a budget supermarket, while only 29% prioritised a 'certain school catchment area'.
A budget supermarket nearby is most desirable among younger generations, with 54% of 18-24-year olds placing it top of their wish list. But this desire for a bargain steadily reduces among older generations, with the study revealing that only 34% of over-45s long for a budget supermarket on their doorstep.
The lure of attractive surroundings
Budget supermarkets might be rising in popularity, but they weren't quite the most desirable amenity. That honour was bestowed upon scenic views (44%), with local restaurants/bars (37%), traditional pubs (36%) and independent shops (34%) also making the top five.
Meanwhile, high-end supermarkets such as Waitrose and Marks & Spencer are still popular (32%), while a 'certain school catchment area', access to walking trails, coffee shops and a local library completed the top 10.
It's important to remember that, even though this research suggests that the desirability of a home in a good catchment area is waning, it’s still likely to be a key consideration for many buyers – particularly those with young or nearly school-age children, and those thinking of starting a family soon.
South East London offers something for everyone
Every buyer is different, but there are some things that prove universally popular and timeless. This list includes good access to supermarkets, plenty of green space nearby, strong transport links, a varied selection of eateries and independent shops, excellent schools and local community facilities such as libraries and parks.
Fortunately, the areas we operate in at Living in London – Bermondsey, Surrey Quays, Canada Water and Rotherhithe – offer these must-have amenities in abundance. From stunning scenic views over the Thames to ample green space, South East London certainly scores highly when it comes to the features that buyers are most likely to desire.
What’s more, transport links in this part of town are superb – with Canary Wharf (one stop away) and ‘The City’ both easily accessible from Canada Water on the Jubilee Line. This makes it an ideal base for young professionals who work in one of the world's key financial hubs. As well as Tube connections, commuters also benefit from London Overground services, reliable bus routes and National Rail links from this part of the capital.
Easy access to all ‘London Airports’ is available, especially to City Airport, while the incoming Elizabeth Line includes a stop at Canary Wharf. Once the line is operational, commute times from here to Central London and Heathrow will be slashed, while it will be easier than ever to reach the suburbs in East and West London, Essex and Berkshire. Given Canada Water’s proximity to Canary Wharf, the Elizabeth Line will be another bow to add to our areas’ superb transport links.
If it’s traditional pubs, bars and restaurants you’re after, then South East London also comes up trumps. The best of these are The Brunel, The Mayflower Pub, The Angel and The Ship
Culture vultures are also well catered for, with this part of the capital being home to the Brunel Museum and the London Bubble Theatre, as well as a number of historical landmarks – namely the Swan Road Mosaic Mural and the Moated Manor House of King Edward III.
As for green space, Southwark Park, Stave Hill Ecological Park and Russia Docks Woodland more than cater for the desire for a place to breathe, relax and escape from London’s famous hustle and bustle.
In addition, Canada Water is home to a fantastic library (the impressively designed and simply named Canada Water Library), which is open every day and offers weekly and monthly activities for both adults and children. And, of course, like all parts of London, there is no shortage of coffee shops on offer – from chains like Starbucks to brilliant independents like the Canada Water Cafe.
As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, Canada Water and Rotherhithe are undergoing significant regeneration – with significant investment being pumped into the former as a result of the Canada Water Masterplan while the proposed foot (and cycle) bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf continues to generate excitement.
Work with an experienced local agent
To improve your chances of selling your home, it’s crucial that your marketing campaign points out the various local amenities on offer – such as transport links, local schools, supermarkets, pubs, restaurants, green space and coffee shops – as these could all help to convince a buyer to make an offer.
It's also important to partner with a reputable local agent to ensure you set the right asking price for your home. Go too high and you could deter buyers; set it too low and you risk selling yourself and your property short.
To discuss your options in greater detail, you can get in contact with Living in London on: 020 7231 0002.
We also provide free instant online valuations to give you an idea of how much your property is worth in the current market.
In December last year, four landlords per average letting agency branch quit the market and sold up – with an even higher figure in London. The number of landlords in the capital selling their properties hit six per branch during December.
The trade body’s Private Rented Sector report also found that the supply of rental property across England was down 4% year-on-year.
Why are they leaving?
As we alluded to above, landlords have in recent years faced a raft of new regulation and legislation designed to make buy-to-let investment less attractive.
This hasn’t only included an extra 3% stamp duty surcharge on second and buy-to-let homes and the slow withdrawal of tax relief, but also changes to the Wear and Tear Allowance, new energy efficiency regulations and tighter restrictions on buy-to-let lending.
As letting agents operating in London, we fully understand the challenges and issues being faced by landlords and sympathise with those who feel they have no choice but to leave the market.
And with the government seemingly remaining intent on punishing landlords further – despite the rapid growth of the private rented sector and an increase in renting across all demographics – there may be fears that things won’t get any easier.
Those thinking of entering the market may, too, be put off if they believe there will be more difficulties than rewards.
However, with the right type of rental homes in the right kind of market, landlords can still achieve good yields and make a decent return on their investment.
Demand high in up-and-coming areas
Here at Living in London, we operate in a number of areas which enjoy high demand from tenants – whether it’s young professionals opting for Canada Water or Surrey Quays as an ideal base for their daily commute to Canary Wharf or The City, or creatives and foodies looking to enjoy the breweries, food markets, art galleries and design studios of Bermondsey and London Bridge.
In all our locations, there is plenty to recommend to tenants – from bars and restaurants, to green space, riverside walks, great pubs and independent coffee shops.
As a landlord operating in these areas, you should have little trouble filling your rental homes with good, reliable tenants.
What’s more, with property here being cheaper than other parts of London, your yields won’t be squeezed as as much as they would be in more expensive areas of the capital.
To help you get the most from your tenancies, you need to partner with an experienced, reliable local letting agent, who can help you keep on top of all new and existing regulation and legislation, occupy your home with good tenants and manage the whole process throughout to keep issues and stress to a minimum.
A long-term reliable asset class
Property has often been considered the go-to asset class for many investors looking to make solid, reliable long-term returns.
One of the key reasons for this is due to high tenant demand which means landlords can fill their properties quickly and keep void periods to a minimum.
What’s more, all the recent evidence points to demand for rental homes continuing to rise. It’s been widely reported that there is a growing number of middle-aged and family renters who are helping to swell the private rented sector to a greater size than ever before.
The most recent English Housing Survey confirms that nearly 20% of households now rent privately, making it the second largest form of tenure in the country. In London, meanwhile, private renting is the biggest form of tenure, with nearly 30% of households living in privately rented accommodation.
And this is only set to grow in the coming years, with predictions that approximately 25% of households will be renting by 2021.
Meanwhile, for those with a firm eye on capital gains, the continued resilience of London house prices is a cause for optimism. Despite the issues caused by chronic Brexit uncertainty, prices in the capital rose by 3.4% in February, according to Rightmove’s latest house price report.
Working with property experts is essential
As our agency was created by three landlords who all own property in London, we have a special understanding of what it takes to ensure a smooth tenancy, as well as the importance of tailoring our services directly to landlords. We’re also well aware of the challenges landlords face and well-equipped to help you overcome these obstacles and thrive in the current market.
Our property management team takes care of the tenancy throughout, while we have a team of experts to ensure your property is occupied with the right tenants from the start.
We also offer high-profile marketing to make sure your homes get the exposure they deserve, while our Canada Water office has an unrivalled location inside Canada Water tube station, ensuring that the number of eyes on your home (via our state-of-the-art interactive touchscreen display and dynamic window cards) is huge.
For more information on the services we offer, get in touch with us on: 020 7231 0002.
We also provide instant online valuations so you can see how much your property is worth on the current market.