London: Increased housing prices and gazumping abound

The continued rise of property prices in the UK during February has ushered in new waves of aspiring property investors looking for the right property to either start or expand their portfolios.

According to the latest report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), released in February, the average price of a UK property has now hit £250,000 for the first time. The ONS said house prices rose by 5.5% last year.

In London alone the average asking price rose by 11.3% over the past year to a record £552,000 – Rightmove director and analyst Miles Shipside said many sellers were achieving those prices because demand was outstripping supply. One of the top property web portals in the UK, Rightmove reported that more home owners were being encouraged to come to market as prices rose. But there are still too few properties coming on to the market, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), which suggests prices are likely to continue growing.

In fact, it said 45% more chartered surveyors saw prices rise rather than fall in February. According to its surveys, the cost of a home has now risen across the country for 11 consecutive months.

Unfortunately, this exciting escalation has also unveiled a new breed of frustration in the form of “ghost gazumping”.

This widely spread phenomenon sees sellers – often persuaded by cunning estate agents – raise the asking price of their property right before they are due to exchange contracts in response to rapidly rising values in their area.

Outbid and often without direction, many London buyers are being pushed towards outer Zones, constantly toe-to-toe with other hopeful home-seekers and investors alike. One of my clients advised during his initial portfolio meeting with us that he had experienced this gazumping several times, and found the exclusivity of our service, including the expertise that comes with sourcing property in opportune areas difficult to reach on the open market, a welcome turn for him.

However, the important perception to retain is not necessarily about today’s “hot spots”, but those of tomorrow.

With Mayor Boris Johnson’s recent 2020 Vision, he detailed very optimistic ambitions for the capital, including the approaching convenience of the Crossrail route and upcoming areas such as Colindale. Connected to the City and West End by the Northern line, Colindale’s redevelopment will provide 500 new homes and create 2,000 new jobs created at the former Aerodrome and Colindale Hospital site. This 2020 vision should ring bells for any potential investors looking for investment opportunities given the impact this will have on the London property market.

Of course, our aim is not only to create the above awareness for our clients through free education, but specifically to develop a step-by-step strategy to apply regardless of market trends and ensure the growth of a thriving portfolio. Sure, the investment market is daunting, but only to those who do not understand it – and that’s why contacting us today is the first stepping stone to breaking into the investment market the hassle-free way.

About the Author

Brett has over 20 years experience in all facets of property, he owns various companies centred around property and is the driving force behind the education and training at Gladfish. His companies have sold over £850 million in UK and London property and he manages over 1200 properties through his estate agency chain. Today he shares his time between UK, Australia and Singapore. He is married to Arlene and together they have 4 kids.

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