London barometer: How General Election uncertainty is influencing home buyers and sellers

The number of homeowners has continued to fall for the last eight years (Source: Corbis)

Politics continues to shape the property market as demand falls and supply increases ahead of one of the most divisive elections in generations. The outcome is causing uncertainty in the sales market and a general mood of caution, with some buyers and vendors hedging their bets before committing to selling or buying.

Valuations remain consistent with the same period 12 months prior, indicating that the appetite to move is steady.
Despite mortgages being cheaper than ever due to rock bottom interest rates, D&G’s portfolio of currently let properties is at an all-time high, indicating that society is reconsidering how they choose to live. The number of homeowners has continued to fall for the last eight years as the Private Rented Sector continues to grow – the number of privately rented homes in the UK has more than doubled in the last 20 years from 2m to 4.1m.
Tenants are staying put for the time being and the number of tenancies that were terminated in February was 20 per cent lower compared to the same month last year. New applicant registrations in February were up by almost 5 per cent and the number of properties available to rent was nearly 10 per cent lower.
Corporate tenants, in particular families relocating to London from overseas for a few years, now look for properties in a much wider search area than they used to, including the emerging prime areas south of the river. This would have been almost unheard of a decade ago when corporate tenants would not even think about crossing the river.
DOUGLAS & GORDON: AVERAGE LONDON SALES PRICE INDEX
Q1 2014Q2 2014Q3 2014Q4 2014
1 bed flat£535,116£542,500£544,500£537,191
2 bed flat£819,583£843,750£847,083£835,120
3 bed house£1,745,417£1,787,500£1,788,750£1,758,722
4 bed house£2,604,167£2,631,167£2,618,750£2,557,237

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