Camden & Regent’s Park: Top end sales and rentals will weather uncertainty

A mews house in Camden available through Sandfords

A mews house in Camden available through Sandfords - Credit: Archant

Property experts in Camden and Regent’s Park share their thoughts on the property market for the year just gone and look forward to 2015.

Andrew Ellinas of Sandfords

Andrew Ellinas of Sandfords - Credit: Archant

Andrew Ellinas, director Sandfords

I called the top of the London market back in the spring of 2014 as signs of a slowdown in buyer activity began to appear. Following a sustained period of rapid growth in the capital, demand levels eased and, although prices didn’t fall, they did stall around this period. The deceleration in the house price surge was one of the main industry stories of 2014, though the market has since stabilised and vendors have become increasingly more realistic with their pricing.

Since the summer of 2014 many buyers, and particularly international buyers, have been a bit jittery about Labour’s proposed mansion tax and somewhat cautious. In NW1 however, the market remained buoyant with the area seeing a lot of local buyers as well as those from overseas. Londoners were seemingly not as affected and did in fact kept the market strong in the closing months of 2014.

Buyers are still in the market, especially from abroad, and sensibly-valued properties in good condition are selling well at the moment.

At the very top end of the market in areas such as Regent’s Park activity levels have in fact remained strong, and will continue in this vein throughout 2015 following the recent news that the Qatar royal family are to convert three prime properties in the area into a huge £200 million mansion.

The beginning of 2015 will be the real test for the new Stamp Duty system to see what affect it will really have in London; following this we have the general election which may dampen the market.

A lot has happened in the industry in the last few months, amidst much speculation, with possible change to come and this brings with it an element of caution that is never good for the property market.

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I am confident that the market will bounce back after the election and the long-term prospects for the prime central London property market are excellent.

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David Rodriguez, partner at Martin & Co

Property prices in Camden over 2014 have stagnated somewhat, with the average drop reported to be around £37,000 per property. Current vendors have realised that prices inflated in early 2014 are no longer being realised and are listening to good agent advice and pricing at an achievable level.

The average property price in the borough now stands at around £700,000, meaning that household income needs to be around £175,000 to afford a mortgage, pricing first time buyers and smaller investment groups out of the market.

The looming election will play a part in activity for the first part of 2015, but we expect sales to be much busier directly after leading up to the traditionally quiet summer period.

Lettings witnessed the usual busy student period over the summer but no notable increase on rental values compared to 2013. The area appears to have delved further into gentrification with tenants being noticeably more specific in demands of taste and quality, largely thanks to the volume of corporate tenants coming into the area.

An increase in choice has meant that landlords are having to give more care and attention to presentation to meet these demands.

Just one look at the skyline in and around the area tells us that the coming year will be an exciting one with a number of new developments springing up, including the Tapestry Building in the new Kings Cross quarter (N1C), which nestles very nicely next to the immensely popular Arthouse development. Smaller developments to look out for in 2015 include Arlington Road, Plender Street & Delancey Street in Camden.

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