Squaring the circle: demand for Camden's property dips 5.8 per cent as sales pleateau
PUBLISHED: 08:00 19 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:28 19 June 2017
Demand for property in Camden has supposedly fallen to 16.09 per cent in the spring, making it the eighth worst performing borough in London. But falling rates of sale don't equate to falling demand say experts
Demand for property in Camden fell 5.98 per cent in the second quarter of 2017. Demand fell from 17.11 per cent in the first quarter of the year to 16.09 per cent in the second; making the borough the eighth worst performing in eMoov’s National Demand Index in terms of quarterly change, and fourth lowest in terms of demand.
Online agent eMoov determined demand based on the percentage of properties sold and scores hotspots based on the level of stock available versus that which has already sold.
The City of London registered the largest fall at 20.13 per cent down on the first quarter whilst Hackney saw falls of 18.85 per cent.
In London overall, demand increased 1.62 per cent to a rate of 32.46 per cent this quarter. Demand in Prime Central London has continued to fall with the City of Westminster registering the lowest demand at 10.41 per cent, followed by Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham.
In England as a whole, demand marginally increased despite uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the General Election, up 4.91 per cent to 41.26 per cent.
Founder and CEO of eMoov.co.uk, Russell Quirk, commented: “An increase in demand across the capital may come as a surprise to some, but a cooling market in London where price is concerned will always bring opportunistic and aspiring buyers out of the woodwork in search of a good investment.
“This latest data further demonstrates the multifaceted property market in London as overall demand is driven by the more affordable peripheral boroughs, dragging the over inflated boroughs along with them by their ear.”
Phifi Tsannos, sales manager at Hotblack Desiato in Camden is unconvinced by the report. “I don’t think that is useful at all actually, it doesn’t tell me anything,” she says, arguing that a falling rate of sale doesn’t necessarily translate to falling demand.
Ms Tsannos is concerned that grouping the borough into a homogenous whole is unhelpful. “You can’t put a rule of thumb of what pounds per square foot is going to be on every street because it’s so different,” she says.
“You’ve got Gloucester Crescent, Regent’s Park Terrace, you’ve got Albert Street, Arlington – you can’t put the same price on those streets because they’re so different, and they’re round the corner from each other.”
Forming a new Parliament, Brexit and the state of the pound have all underscored an uncertain market. Camden in particular has been burdened with confusion around HS2, and in response buyers have adopted a ‘wait and see’ approach.
“People who don’t have to sell are just riding the storm and they’re just waiting to see what happens. They’re just holding back, it doesn’t mean that prices have dropped,” says Ms Tsannos.
Despite a shortage of stock, people are still coming in looking to buy at Hotblack Desiato, only with a less speculative approach. “The people that are coming through the door, they’re coming in because they specifically want to live in a particular area,” says Ms Tsannos.
However, those going in with lowball offers may be met with disappointment if they don’t offer the right amount.
“People have got a price in their heads that they want for their property and they’re not going to sell it just because people are telling you property prices are going to drop,” says Ms Tsannos.
“They will hang on to their bricks and mortar because their bricks and mortar is their fortune. If I’m not going to get the right money, I don’t sell.”
Ms Tsannos believes the demand cycle, where house price inflation maxes out, has plateaued.
“It’s not going down, it’s just evened off. I think [demand] will come back up again, because people have just put the brakes on.”
Instead of investing in London, savvy buyers are investing in suburbs like Kent. “It doesn’t mean that we’ve lost our buyers here, they are just waiting to see and in the meantime they might be investing somewhere else where they can buy a little bit more. You’ve got to put your money somewhere.”
Ms Tsannos remains optimistic that London’s attractions as a global city will continue to entice buyers and spin the cycle again.
“Look at all the regeneration that’s happened, look at all the restaurants that have opened, all the wine bars, all the reconstructions, all the new builds. People are not going to invest all that money for nothing, are they?”