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Home sellers - why it pays to know what amenities buyers are after

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Published: 19/02/2019   Last Updated: 19/02/2019 11:37:21   Author: Adam Miller    Tags: Living In London, Canada Water, Rotherhithe, Surrey Quays, Bermondsey, Buyers, Sellers, Amenities, P

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.

Selling in 2019? Here’s what you need to know

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Published: 28/01/2019   Last Updated: 28/01/2019 15:49:55   Tags: Living In London, Estate Agents, Property, Canada Water, Surrey Quays, Sellers, Buyers, Homes, Insta

As we enter a new year, thoughts often turn to new starts and fresh beginnings. For many, buying or selling a home will be high up on their list of New Year’s resolutions.

But, if you’re planning on selling a home in the year ahead, what do you need to know?

Below, using our experience of operating in the busy, lively south-east London housing market, we take a closer look…

Now is a good time to sell

For a long while now, the post-Christmas boom in property market activity has been something to hang your hat on – reliable and guaranteed. Interest and hesitant buying plans formed over the festive period are now enacted upon, leading to a very busy period for the property market in the first three months of the year.

The property portals typically enjoy record traffic in the time between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, with people using the extra free time at their disposal to browse for properties or tentatively put their home-buying plans into action.

Figures for this Christmas suggest that Rightmove experienced record visitor numbers on Boxing Day, some 25,147,701 pages viewed according to a tweet by the property firm.

What’s more, the Daily Mail claimed that more than two million people trawled through multiple Rightmove listings on Boxing Day, while the paper also said there were 40 million online viewings of homes, compared to 38 million on the same day in 2017.

Put simply, the number of eyes on your property at this time of the year is likely to be much higher, which in turn will improve your chances of selling with relative ease. If you haven’t already listed your home, now is a good time to act to take advantage of the traditional surge in buyer interest at this time of the year.

Brexit certainty could bring market stability

The uncertainty caused by Brexit has undoubtedly had an impact on many parts of life, and property hasn’t been immune from that. A RICS report released just before Christmas suggested that many buyers and sellers were electing to sit tight until the position over Brexit became clearer, while there has been much talk about the dampening effect the political turmoil in Westminster has had on house prices, particularly at the higher end of the London market.

Although the property market has largely batted off political and economic issues in recent years – taking a business as usual approach even in the face of referendums, snap general elections and prolonged withdrawal negotiations – it is still one that thrives more when certainty and stability are the order of the day.

For now, it’s little surprise that some buyers and sellers are holding back, but greater clarity over the final withdrawal agreement would no doubt lead to a more confident, assured sector. The current situation is still highly unclear, with everything from a no deal Brexit to a second referendum still on the table, but hopefully we will know more once the meaningful vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal has taken place (scheduled for the week starting January 14).

On the upside from a seller’s point of view, the fundamentals of the market remain the same – with demand still hugely outstripping supply – which means that sellers are still in a good position when it comes to negotiating on asking prices, especially in London.

Prices should continue to rise

Despite the B-word hanging over all aspects of life, most property experts are predicting house price rises in 2019 – or at the very least no change.

That should particularly be the case in property hotspots such as Canada Water, a part of South East London which is being hailed as one to watch out for in the year to come thanks to substantial regeneration works in the pipeline.

Long in the shadow of near neighbour Canary Wharf, the former dockside area had been rather neglected until recently. Now, as well as being home to excellent transport links, easy access to the Thames, foodie hubs such as Hawker House and close proximity to London Bridge, Borough and Elephant & Castle, it is also becoming a commuter hotspot.

The Canada Water Masterplan, which we outlined in a previous blog, is driving the area’s increasing popularity, and its status as one of the Mayor of London’s Opportunity Areas is also helping to attract buyer interest.

This, of course, can be used to your advantage if you are selling a home in the local area. Ensure that you make use of the exciting redevelopment it is undergoing when trying to sell your home. The great transport links on offer (not just Jubilee Line, but London Overground services too) should also play a key role in your sales pitch to prospective buyers.

It’s not just Canada Water, either – the other areas we operate in (Bermondsey, Surrey Quays and Rotherhithe) also have plenty going for them and plenty to attract those looking for London living slightly away from the hustle and bustle of the capital’s busiest areas.

How much could your property be worth this year?

Here at Living in London, we provide instant online valuations to give you an idea of what your home is currently worth.

In 2019, like any other year, it’s important that you set your asking price at the right level to avoid putting off would-be buyers or selling yourself short.

It’s also vital that you work closely with a reputable local estate agent to ensure you avoid overvaluing, which could prohibit your chances of securing a sale.

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

Landlords are leaving the market, but here’s why you should stay

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Last Updated: 03/04/2019 15:35:12   Tags: Living In London, Canada Water, Surrey Quays, Bermondsey, Landlords, Tenants, Agents, Rental Propert

If further evidence was needed that landlords are fed up of the recent bashing they’ve received from the government (principally in terms of higher stamp duty when purchasing an additional property and the phasing out of mortgage interest tax relief), the latest figures from ARLA Propertymark have confirmed it.

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.