London’s property market hasn’t suffered as much as people may think throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the average price of buying a house in the capital has shot up 6.2 percent since the first national shutdown a year ago. The entire housing sector was closed down for two months in the spring, triggering huge concerns of a crash that never actually came. One year into the pandemic and things have become more evident in terms of the road leading forward, and droves of companies are announcing new, flexible approaches to home working, leading families to migrate out of London in their thousands.
This change in the way people work and live is likely going to have a significant impact on London’s housing market, with prices expected to drop in the coming months.
James Smith, director of Holden Smith Law, told Express.co.uk he thinks a combination of factors will lead to a decrease in the extortionate London housing market.
Mr Smith said: “Only time will tell if home working coupled with an increased desire from many Londoners for a more rural lifestyle has an impact on the demand for city centre flats and apartments.
“I suspect demand may also be affected by the ongoing cladding scandal which continues to cause turmoil in the city centre market, plus the introduction of the non-UK domicile increased Stamp Duty levy, which I imagine accounts for a significant percentage of investment in the London property scene.”
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The cladding issue gripping London’s property market is a huge one.
The tragic Grenfell Tower incident on June 14, 2017, revealed a massive problem with numerous tower blocks and properties in the capital being wrapped with non-fireproof cladding.
According to the recent statistics published by the Labour Party, more than 29,000 people in the south London boroughs of Southwark and Lambeth alone are living in homes “with Grenfell-style cladding”
Mr Smith concluded: “I suspect this could all drive down demand for London flats and apartments, resulting in the value of such properties decreasing.”
Ms Herbert explained: “I think that things in the capital are going to be interesting.
“Living in London is desirable, with the lifestyle and surroundings that it has to offer.
“Now things are starting to open again, I think the attraction of London will still be a big pull that will encourage people into the city to live, and that while we see homeowners moving out to more rural areas, there will still be others willing to fill those spots.
“A lot of London homeowners may sell for a slightly lower price as they will likely be buying something cheaper in the countryside so they won’t need the full value as though they were relocating in London.
“This could actually bring in a new wave of homeowners in the London area that may not have been able to buy here previously.”
And in fact, this is the most likely outcome as even if London’s housing market dips in value for a little while, it’s sure to bounce right back as it always does.
London is a cultural and financial hub, attractive to people all around the world looking for a new place to live, and that’s a positive for the city unlikely to diminish any time soon.
Mr Smith concluded: “London has always been an anomaly when it comes to bucking property trends in the rest of the UK, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the market remain strong either, as people from all over the world will always want to invest and live in what is largely considered one of the best cities in the world.”