Buying a house in London is a dream for thousands of people across the UK and the allure of the nation’s capital is plain to see and, as you would expect, is clearly reflected in the property prices that you will encounter whilst trawling the housing market in the Big Smoke. Though the London property market is filled with potential pitfalls, there are experts out there who are well-versed in the area and who can offer genuinely insightful knowledge on how best to make the most of buying or investing in London – one such expert is the aptly named, Matt Sherlock, of The London Property Scout. He answers our questions about the state of the London property market below:
What’s your take on the London Property Market?
At the moment, some properties are overpriced but good value can always be found if you know where to look. The London property market will always be strong and even in a heavy recession like the one we have just gone through, prices dropped by 20% between mid 2008 and end of 2009 but within two years bounced back to pre recession levels and has since then grown by another 20% in some areas. Yes, there’s a possibility that the market may drop in the near future but all the more reason for savvy purchase.
Is the new governmental scheme, Help to Buy, a good or bad move in your opinion?
In principle, its a good idea – especially for first time buyers outside London. But, the focus should be on building more new (quality) affordable homes, which the government is doing – but no way near enough. In terms of the impact it will have on the London market, this is hard to say, but I am inclined to think it will not be that significant.
Are there any areas of London where investors should be looking? Any undiscovered gems?
This depends on which level of the market you are looking in. For the high end of the market, parts of Marylebone are still undervalued in comparison to other prime central areas. For the mid market – Bloomsbury and Clerkenwell are great investments. There is so much going on in that area, its a no brainer, any investment now will pay great returns in the long term. Vauxhall is interesting too. At the lower end of the market – City Fringes and E1 (Whitechapel and Aldgate). Acton/Ealing, especially areas on the forthcoming Crossrail Line offer good value for money.
What sets you apart from other London property experts?
We take a very personal approach to working with clients, which is reflected in our policy to represent a maximum of four clients’s (per search agent) at any one time. We believe that in order to find the right property for someone, we first must establish what their values and priorities are – unlike other property search agents, many of whom have worked solely in property search, we have a diverse property background prior to starting the company including estate agency, development, investment and management.
The London Property Scout is one of the leading London property finders in the capital and they have helped to find the ideal home or investment opportunity for many savvy individuals in the last four years and they are held in very high regard due to the meticulous manner in which they go about ensuring that they find the perfect property in every single, if you’ll excuse the poor Sherlock related pun, case.