With Christmas just around the corner, the London housing market is winding down. Amidst a backdrop of Brexit negotiations and slowing demand, London sellers can find positives in a new group of buyers increasingly looking to purchase property in the capital.
There’s been a recent influx of demand from older buyers who are seeking to move back to the capital in order to downsize. This unexpected rise of baby boomers cashing in their family homes and returning to city life in London has led to new possibilities for potential sellers.
The majority of downsizers are moving from outer London areas – such as Maida Vale, Mortlake, Bankside or Ealing – and into the city. This group owns roughly £1.5 trillion of housing equity – approximately 43% of the UK’s property wealth. According to the research, carried out by a global property consultancy, many of these buyers originally bought their first home in London, then eventually moved further out to purchase a family home.
With many convenient transport links and additional infrastructure projects underway, London has become more attractive to baby-boomers, enticing them to return to the capital. This group of buyers are able to put down big deposits in order to trade their larger homes for smaller dwellings in the city, with some even opting for newly built apartments in modern developments. Unlike first-time buyers, downsizers aren’t as budget-driven and tend not to compromise.
Reasons for taking a step back closer to the capital vary. Some downsizers prefer London’s range of activities and culture – such as theatres, cinemas galleries and bars – while others revel in the chance to be near family. What’s more, maintaining a larger home involves more physical work as opposed to a home in the city, something which encourages over 65s to move to modern accommodation that does not require as much work.
Safety is another major consideration for downsizers; a high-tech alarm system makes it easier for them to lock up and leave without worrying about security. Some newer developments also allow better access, including a lateral layout, a lift and appliances that offer better assistance, such as an oven at waist level to minimise the need to bend down while cooking.
This trend may also help aspiring first-time buyers. Those who happen to be related to a potential downsizer with a high-value home could share in the rewards, as the cash released from the sale might help them to take their first step on the property ladder.
This follows the positive news in last month’s Budget that stamp duty for first-time buyers has been cut. Before the Budget, 100% of first-time buyers in London were liable for the tax with an average bill of £13,102. After the Budget, the number of London first-time buyers paying stamp duty is predicted to drop to 81% with the average amount paid reduced to £9,778.
If you would like any guidance on selling a property in Hertford, Walthamstow, Essex and surrounding areas, contact your local Kings Group branch today.
Also, to see how much your home could be worth on the current market, you can request a free instant online valuation here.