Intense competition in £1m – £2m property bracket as stamp duty tightens supply

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With the summer lull behind us – all the development activity notwithstanding – independent property buying agency, Black Brick (www.black-brick.com), notes a continuation of the trends that emerged after the General Election in May; namely that tax changes have pushed lots of buyers into the £1-2 million bracket, where tight supply is creating intense competition for properties.

Camilla Dell, Managing Partner of Black Brick, comments: “The market is busy with domestic owner-occupiers who have been frustrated at the difficulty in finding, and successfully bidding on, family homes in the capital. Additionally, the uncertainty in global stock markets is encouraging investors to move assets into London property. We are also representing cash buyers and those aiming to ‘future buy’ property for their children.

“Interest in property between £2 million and £10 million remains very limited as a consequence of recent changes to stamp duty and the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings, but, in an encouraging turn, we are again taking enquiries from larger clients looking to make development investments in the £50 million realm.

“In any market, demand encourages supply and developers are scrambling to meet demand for prime residential property in London. Earlier this year, it was reported that approximately 54,000 new homes are being built in the more expensive parts of the capital – equivalent to a decade’s worth of supply. This supply is, however, failing to keep up with demand and prices in London rose 10.6% year-on-year in the third quarter, up from 7.3% in Q2, according to Nationwide.

“In theory, purchasing an apartment in a new build development should be a straightforward proposition, but the reality is more complicated. The process can be a minefield for prospective buyers – and particularly for investors who may be highly sensitive to the yields they can obtain.

“The fact of the matter is that not all developments are created equal. Some offer better value for money than others and some are likely to be harder to let or sell on. In places where stock is in high supply, such a volume of property becoming available in a short period of time will put substantial downward pressure on the rental yields that will be achievable. Smaller developments are a different story, however; we have recently acquired properties in the redevelopment of BBC Television Centre, in White City in West London. This is in an iconic building situated in an area enjoying substantial regeneration. The premium over period property is more like 5-10%, and the rental market is much healthier.

“With such strong demand for prime new build property, prospective investors need to be cautious about where they deploy their money. They need either to carry out extensive research into the state of the market, and the pros and cons of the dozens of developments available.”

For further information on Black Brick, please visit: www.black-brick.com

About Black Brick:

Black Brick is an independent property buying agency founded by Camilla Dell in January 2007, covering London and the Home Counties (Kent, Surrey and Sussex) and acting for buyers with budgets of £500,000-£50m+. Based in Mayfair, the company has grown to an eleven strong team, offering property acquisition, managed sales, rental search, property management and property concierge services.  Since its inception, Black Brick has purchased over £600m worth of property. Black Brick’s client base is diverse – 60% of its buyers are international, and include Middle Eastern, Asian, African, Indian, Russian and Europeans.

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