Sara Ransom of Stacks Property Search gives her take on which areas savvy prospective buyers should focus on for their next property purchase.
With the domestic market ticking over and prices gradually sliding since 2014, buying in London is a great deal more relaxed than it once was. This is according to Ransom, who says that buyers need to make smart choices to get the best value for money.
“To get the best deals buyers should seek out over-supply and dispense with old perceptions,” she advised. “Some areas that were once out of reach have returned to more sensible levels, while other have seen less in the way of price drops. As always, extensive research is the key to shrewd buying.”
Battersea and King’s Cross, which have recently seen big developments, have large quantities of stock, and saturation of supply brings attractive pricing with it. Or, as Ransom claims, the opportunity for hard bargaining.
According to Ransom, young professionals looking for fun, hip areas will find Shad Thames and Borough are more affordable than they were when they first came to be, and other emerging areas such as Elephant and Castle offer excellent value. By contrast, Hoxton and Shoreditch have retained their values and look less affordable.
Families will find that Fulham prices have taken a big hit, while prices in Clapham South and Balham have been more robust. Hampstead and Notting Hill prices, meanwhile, have seen rapid cooling with some high-profile examples of massive price reductions. Maida Vale and Little Venice have stayed a little warmer.
Ransom’s top picks for ‘shrewd buyers’ in 2019 are Tooting, Acton and King’s Cross. Situated to the west of Chiswick, Acton is attractive to families and first-time buyers alike, and is likely to see a small uplift in prices with the opening of Crossrail. Prices are around 15% cheaper than in neighbouring Chiswick, ranging from terraced Victorian houses worth £1 million to converted flats from £450,000.
King’s Cross, with its international links via St Pancras, has been transformed in recent years thanks to massive redevelopment – including the now iconic Gasholders development and a brand-new shopping area. A new residential release is imminent, so off-plan buying in this area could be shrewd move, Ransom said.
Elsewhere, Tooting is a family neighbourhood offering plenty of shopping and restaurant options, surrounded by large green spaces such as Tooting Common and a direct commute on the Northern Line into the city. The Victorian and Edwardian houses with fair sized gardens are 10%-15% cheaper than in Balham.
Regarding what to buy, Ransom said: “Developers are introducing interesting communal elements into their spaces. It makes sense to pay a bit more for an apartment in a development that has extras that are valuable to you.”
“Some have communal work spaces that for the self-employed, or occasional working-from-home can be a godsend. Take your laptop, grab a desk, and ‘go to work’, keeping your apartment free of office vibes. Or for families with young children, an integral creche is a godsend.”
She continued: “Gasholders in King’s Cross is a mouth-watering example of the extra facilities that can come with an apartment – there’s an entertainment suite including private dining room and catering kitchen, a 14-person screening room with adjacent games room, spa, gym, residents lounge, communal roof garden and much more.
“While the prices in this iconic and award-winning development aren’t exactly competitive, the development is a good example of how the future of London living could look – buying enough square feet for day-to-day living, and using communal space when the need for more space arises.”