THE LONDON BAROMETER

SALES DIRECTOR OF DOUGLAS & GORDON

In D&G land, February saw the lowest levels of available properties since December 2009 as a result of consumer confidence remaining low, a lack of job security and a knock on affect from economic turmoil in Europe, whilst the number of prospective buyers registering is still at an all-time high.

“Increasing living and moving costs, combined with the recent announcement of a 0.49% increase for standard variable mortgage rates pushing up monthly mortgage repayments, are all contributing to fewer homeowners opting to move.

“A two-tiered property market is continuing to be established in London; with the “best in class” properties being sold in record time and for record prices whereas properties with any faults are facing price reductions or taking longer to sell.

“Interestingly, whereas previously when there has been a limited supply of properties, those that haven’t been 100% perfect have still sold, in the current market these types of properties are proving harder to sell. This is partly down to unrealistic asking prices but also because buyers are now purchasing property with a longer term view and are unwilling to compromise on finding their perfect home.

“There are already indications that the spring market is starting to kick in with an increasing number of valuations taking place. However, lack of stock is likely to be a key feature of the property market in 2012 and as demand remains high, prices for properties in the most popular parts of the capital are expected to increase further throughout the year. Predictions made by some pundits that prices would only increase by 2% in 2012 have already been exceeded by an average increase of as much as 8% across D&G land this year so far.”