Trend Spotter

Winter words of wisdom

At the time of our autumn report, there was much debate in the office about which season we were technically embraced by. No such doubt now. With the thermometer reading -5C, and snow due to fall in the next couple of days, we are clearly in the grip of winter.

Our winter market intelligence report provides a detailed overview of the property market in W14, W11, W10, W8 and W2, and we hope this will give the residents of Notting Hill a gripping fireside read! You can read the full report HERE, but for those of you with places to go and people to see, we’ve extracted some of the highlights.

Price increases:

The average sales price achieved across the local market in 2011 was £1.59m, which represented a 9.4% increase on values achieved in 2010. (The report itemises average values for W10, W11, W14, W2 and W8 – interesting comparisons).

The figures are testament to the strong levels of demand for prime property in this area. At Crayson we were very pleased to achieve a record value for a flat in a Holland Park villa in W11 of £2,047psf, which is around £150psf more than previously achieved at this location.

New instructions low, but transactions grow

New instructions dropped quarter by quarter over the course of 2011 with about half as many new instructions in Q4 of 2011 as there were in Q4 of 2010. Despite that, there were 8% more transactions in 2011 than in 2010; with property sales over £2m increasing by 22%.

Slow to sell:

Over 2011, the average time that properties were on the market in the area before sale has been steadily increasing, rising from just under 3 months in Q3 of 2010, to 5.6 months in Q4 of 2011.

Vendors who are horrified by this statistic may be reassured to know that, at Crayson, the average time to sell a property is 10.2 weeks. And there are encouraging examples of exceptionally quick sales. For example, we sold 26 Clarendon Road in the same week as being marketed at £125k over the guide price.

Pricing crucial:

Call me repetitive, but property that’s overpriced simply won’t sell! The evidence is overwhelming. Across our market, 60% of sales in 2011 were made under their asking price; and 38% of properties currently available for sale have seen at least one reduction in asking price. The worst record is for houses between £1m and £2m, where 56% of houses currently available for sale have been reduced in price.

Again, at the risk of sounding smug, Crayson bucks the trend here. All our sole agent house sales in 2011 sold at or above the full asking price; and we didn’t have to reduce a single asking price in order to achieve these sales.

Outlook

It’s not just the weather that’s chilly; the economic forecast is decidedly frosty, and there seems little hope that things will thaw any time soon. But Prime Central London property has consistently remained buoyant throughout the economic gloom. Whether growth will be as robust as in 2011 remains to be seen; but it is my certain belief that we will end 2012 with prices in this area higher than they are today. I anticipate a growing interest in W2, W11, W8, W10 and W14, with buyers frustrated by constrained stock in Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Belgravia looking for alternative areas for investment.

If you’d like a hard copy of this report, please feel free to give us a call (020 7221 1117) or drop us a line (nick@crayson.com). Or even better, come into the office to pick one up – we’d love to see you.

Stay warm….

Very best wishes, Nick