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The London Property Market - Is Now A Good Time To Sell Your Home?


Last Updated: 19/12/2018 23:14:22   Tags: Living In London, London Property, Selling A Home, Instant Online Valuation, Asking Price

As we outlined in a previous blog, this time of year is great to sell a home, driven by increased buyer demand, the desire to be in homes before Christmas and the boom that follows the traditional summer slowdown.

And, fortunately for those looking to sell a home in Canada Water, Surrey Quays, Bermondsey, Rotherhithe or South Bermondsey, there are reasons to be optimistic – despite the ongoing Brexit negotiations and the well-publicised struggles of the prime London market.

Buyers seeking greater affordability will be looking away from the centre, to up-and-coming areas with excellent transport links, more reasonably priced property, a good selection of green space and a growing range of places to eat and drink. 

Canada Water to benefit from significant investment

The £4 billion British Land project to transform and enhance Canada Water – providing thousands of new homes, a huge amount of workspace and new shops, restaurants, bars, leisure facilities and entertainment venues – is helping to keep interest high in this sought-after commuter hub.

Prices have risen here by around 13% since 2015, according to Rightmove, and the average price currently stands at just under £525,000 – relatively affordable by London standards, which makes it appealing for second steppers branching out from a starter home and young professionals looking to get on the ladder for the first time.   

As one of the Mayor of London’s Opportunity Areas, Canada Water is experiencing more investment and regeneration than most. This kind of thing tends to be attractive to potential buyers, who will want to buy in a desirable area where there is the prospect of decent house price growth in the future. 

With the first part of the Canada Water Masterplan potentially being completed by 2022, and the project as a whole reaching completion by 2033, the chances of house prices rising steadily are good as demand for homes in one of London’s boom areas grows at a rapid rate. Even now, a number of developments are ongoing, which is further helping to encourage buyers to the area.

Two of its main draws are its transport links and its closeness to Canary Wharf. It’s one stop away from Canary Wharf - one of the world’s key financial centres - on the Jubilee Line, and also plays host to London Overground services providing quick commutes to cultural hotspots such as Shoreditch High Street, Hoxton and Dalston. 

Bond Street, in the heart of the West End, can be reached in just 12 minutes, while it’s even quicker to get to London Bridge, Waterloo and Westminster. 

As a property seller, you can use the excellent transport connections, the planned developments and the buzz surrounding Canada Water to your advantage. Make sure, on viewings, that you or your estate agent talk positively about the local area and its main attributes, as location is very often a key factor for London buyers and could swing their decision either way. 

Affordable residential living in London

Surrey Quays – once a key part of the capital’s shipping industry – might have struggled for identity in the post-industrial era, but it has started to recover in recent years, aided by its strong transport links, relative affordability, quiet, family-friendly feel and selection of good or outstanding local schools. 

Flats are most popular, selling for an average price of around £450,000-£500,000, mostly to young professionals eager for easy access to Canary Wharf, the City and the West End. The overall average price is just over £515,000, up by around 15% on 2015 as Surrey Quays’ burgeoning population has been met by increased demand. 

The area will also directly benefit from the Canada Water Masterplan, while the London Overground extension – between Clapham Junction and Surrey Quays, which opened in December 2012 – has also helped to draw more commuters here. 

Its quieter, more residential feel could be a key selling point, particularly for buyers looking to escape the hubbub of the city. Again, it’s important to utilise the regeneration of Canada Water, the proposed pedestrian and cycle bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf, and the area’s surprising amount of local green space to your advantage when selling a home.

Given the transport links on offer and the ‘away from the hustle and bustle’ vibe, demand for homes should continue to be high. You can use the keenness of buyers to be in their home before Christmas to give some impetus to your sale, too. 

A welcome price boost

The regeneration of Rotherhithe – which encompasses Surrey Quays and Canada Water – is helping to make the area fashionable among homebuyers again. The Masterplan and the planned bridge are the two main pillars of its transformation, which could lead to a price boost of 30% between now and 2022, when the first phase of British Land’s scheme is set to complete.  

It certainly feels like an exciting time for this part of south-east London, and that also means it’s a good time to be a seller. People want to move to areas with a buzz, and Canada Water, Surrey Quays and Rotherhithe currently have that. You should certainly feel confident of getting a good price for your home in the current market conditions, even allowing for Brexit uncertainty and other variables.

How much is your property likely to be worth?

If you’re selling now, or thinking of listing your home on the market soon, you’ll be keen to know how much it could be worth. To this end, we provide instant online valuations to give you an estimate of your property’s worth. 

In the current market, it's absolutely imperative that your initial asking price is set at the right level. You'll need to work with a reputable local estate agent to ensure you avoid overvaluing, which could be detrimental to a future sale.

If you would rather discuss your options in greater detail, you can contact Living in London on 020 7231 0002.

Why autumn is a great time to sell


Last Updated: 01/10/2018 10:58:46   Tags: Living In London, Canada Water, Rotherhithe, Buyers, Sellers, Agents, Instant Online Valuation

The days are getting shorter, the nights are drawing in, the leaves are falling off the trees and the temperatures are starting to dip a bit – all of which means we’re leaving summer behind and entering autumn.

Which, as luck would have it, is arguably the best season in which to sell a home as the traditional post-summer boom in housing activity coincides with a desire from buyers to be in their new home before Christmas. It is typically a very busy period – as both buyers and sellers put their home moving plans into action – and here we take a closer look at why that is. 

Why autumn?

The holidays are over, the kids are back at school, and people want to arrange moves before the festivities begin. This all means activity ramps up in September, October and November. While summer is generally a quieter period for the property industry, this summer was particularly quiet thanks to the excellent weather, World Cup fever and ongoing uncertainty over Brexit negotiations.

The uncertainty over Brexit is still there – and may cause some people to think twice – but other variables are now in favour of stronger market activity.  

Given the desire to be in their new home by Christmas, buyers may also be more eager to push through sales in a fast manner, which will be music to the ears of sellers who dread frustrating hold-ups or delays.

As a seller, you can improve your chances of selling by trying to hold viewings in the daytime (when you can shine the best light on your home), clearing your gutters, drains and driveway of leaves, keeping your home warm and toasty during viewings if the weather is cold outside, and decluttering your property so it doesn’t feel too personal or lived in. 

Exciting developments

Here at Living in London, we operate in one of the capital’s most exciting and up-and-coming areas. In Canada Water, for example, there is what is known as the Canada Water Masterplan, which aims to create a new urban centre for London in SE16. 

The project, devised and led by property development and investment firm British Land, puts forward plans for the 53-acre regeneration of Canada Water. After four years of planning and consultation, the plans were finally submitted to Southwark Council in May. 

The green light is expected to be given at some point this autumn. If the plans are approved, work could begin on the first detailed plots in spring 2019 (with a target completion date of 2022). The whole Masterplan, in turn, could be completed and fully functioning by 2033. 

It would deliver up to 3,000 homes, in addition to retail, leisure, work, entertainment and community space, with the first three buildings set to be constructed on Surrey Quays shopping centre’s current overflow car parks between Deal Porters Way and Canada Water Dock, plus the empty site at Roberts Close. 

The first phase would generate 270 homes as well as plans for 285,000 sq ft of workspace, a leisure centre, shops and places to eat and drink. Proposals for affordable social rented housing have also been included. 

As well as bringing visitors, tenants and buyers to the area, existing residents of Canada Water will be given a major boost by the project as it becomes a nicer place to live, work and commute from. At present, it could be argued that Canada Water is mostly a commuter hub – a good base for people working elsewhere in the city. However, new leisure, work, entertainment and food/drinks spaces could help to change all that.

Those looking to sell should also be boosted by the plans, with greater media coverage of the area possibly leading to higher levels of interest from potential buyers. 

In nearby Rotherhithe, meanwhile, there has been an update on the proposed Rotherhithe Bridge - a pedestrian and cycle bridge which would connect south east London to the docklands peninsular, making ‘sustainable transport a life changing option for thousands of commuters’.

The low lying bridge, downstream from Tower Bridge, will need to be designed so it can open to allow tall boats to pass. 

Now, in response to the recent public consultation on the planned bridge, the team behind the initial proposals - reForm Architects and Elliot Wood Engineers – have relocated their design to its original 2013 northern position. The new location, along with a 20% reduction in the scale and 5m reduction in the height of the bridge, would bring ‘tangible public benefits and cost savings to the scheme’. 

The update on their official website added: “We once again publicly offer our innovative bascule design for independent scrutiny as part of the ongoing process which TfL confirm will need to demonstrate that the best design and cost outcome has been achieved.”

The bridge, which has the support of the Mayor and TfL, would be the first bridge built in central London to the east of Tower Bridge. But it has proved controversial, with a high-profile and heavily scrutinised battle over the design of the Rotherhithe-to-Canary Wharf crossing.

Consultancy giant Atkins was appointed by TfL in March to provide engineering and architectural support to the project, but reForm Architects is no longer being considered for the design support contract after another design consultancy, Arcadis, allegedly advised against the bascule-type bridge design. It’s still unclear who will actually be responsible for the eventual design of the bridge, but a planning application could be made in 2019 and Sadiq Khan said in the summer of 2017 that he’d like to start construction as soon as possible.

Autumn, then, has so far been busy in terms of developments to the areas we operate in, but as we outlined above it’s also a good time to sell a home – with demand likely to be high as plenty of buyers enter the market seeking a home before the turkey needs carving. 

Do you know how much your property is worth?

The market in 2018 has been an interesting one so far, but how has the performance of London's property sector affected the price of your home and how much you could be selling it for? If you would like an 'instant valuation' to get a better idea of what your property is worth for sales or rental, please click here. Or if you would prefer to discuss your options in more depth, please feel free to contact Living in London on 020 7231 0002.