With the re-opening of offices, we are also now seeing demand rise for pied-à-terres in London, often among people who have moved outside the M25 and are facing a commute that is slightly longer and more frequent than initially anticipated. All things considered, the market has been strong, it just hasn’t experienced the same level of headline-generating, frenetic activity as the country house market.
Prices in central London, it’s fair to say, have been in a holding pattern for most of this year. While the rest of the country and the capital have experienced strong growth, the absence of international buyers means this hasn’t been the case in zone 1.
Meanwhile, in areas like Wandsworth, Richmond and Dulwich, there has been some appreciable levels of growth due to the resurgent demand for greenery and space. The overriding point to remember is that the prime central London property market is overdue a period of price inflation. For six years, conditions have been relatively subdued due to a succession of tax hikes and then the political volatility caused by Brexit. We believe the market is now straining at the leash and that growth will kick in next year. In the first two months of 2020, we all believed the market was set for an exceptionally strong year after the general election in December 2019. We won’t be picking up entirely where we left off but we forecast 7% growth in 2022 and 25% in the five years to 2025.
The list of evergreen reasons that keep people coming to London from all over the world remains intact after the pandemic. It includes things like education, language, time zone and the rule of law. These are things we talked about a lot before the pandemic and I’m sure we’ll be talking about them long after it has faded from our collective memories.
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