West London Property Market Shows Signs of Recovery as Lockdown Measures Ease

With economists and housing experts predicting that coronavirus could cause property price falls of anywhere between 4% and 15% across the UK, a glimmer of optimism is just what’s needed in the property market right now. And activity in west London could just be that shining beacon of hope…

Lead image: A property on Stanlake Road, courtesy of Finley Brewer

The Guardian reported that the Centre for Economics and Business Research predicted a price fall of 13%, while estate agent Savills are looking at 5%, Garrington Property Finders forecasts 10% nationally and 15% in some areas, and a third of valuation surveyors are placing their bets at 4% or less.

London has always been a special case in terms of the property market, however, and estate agent Finlay Brewer, which specialises in prime west London property, finalised seven exchanges during the lockdown period at a total of £7.4 million.

This bodes well for the coming weeks and months as restrictions begin to relax and viewings can once again take place following the latest government guidelines, especially given a flurry of activity following The Prime Minister’s speech on the first May bank holiday weekend – early signs of confidence returning to the market.

What’s selling?

Unsurprisingly, homes with large gardens and a little privacy are proving popular, although they can be tricky to find in London, helping to keep prices buoyant.

A detached four-bedroom, three-storey property on Stanlake Road near Shepherd’s Bush Green recently sold for £2.35m.

Reminiscent of a country pad, standing in its own landscaped grounds with an elegantly arranged formal garden to the front of the property, this 2,250 sq ft property has high ceilings, an original fireplace, and a breakfast/family room with double French windows leading onto the lawned rear garden.

‘Outdoor space is the number-one focus for buyers at the minute,’ says Paul Cosgrove, Director at Finlay Brewer.

‘Stanlake Road is certainly a tranquil oasis in the city, so it’s no surprise the new owners were so attracted to the elegant formal garden and the privacy afforded to detached properties. This amount of space is particularly rare in Zone 2.’

Following The Prime Minister’s speech on the first May bank holiday weekend, Finlay Brewer exchanged on a distinguished three-bedroom Victorian home on Faroe Road, Brook Green.

The £1.595m home has an elegant split-level reception opening out onto a westerly facing garden, a master suite occupying the entirety of the second floor and that holy grail in Prime Central London – a garage.

Finlay Brewer has also exchanged on a first-floor flat on trendy Gunterstone Road near West Kensington tube station for £450,000, a spacious garden flat on Milson Road near Olympia tube station for £725,000, a flat on Sinclair Road, also near Olympia, for £875,000, and an upper maisonette flat on Minford Garden Road near Shepherd’s Bush Green for £750,000.

‘We have looked to maintain activity in the market where possible,’ said Cosgrove. ‘As a result, we have seen some measure of success, exchanging and completing on a varied range of properties.

‘Interestingly the properties have been spread across a wide budget, from the London average up to an exceptional detached property.

‘This is a positive indicator that a wide range of different buyers of all ages and budgets are still prepared to move ahead if the deal is right and everything can be conducted safely.’

How is the property market in Europe fairing?

The UK market, although slowed, has kept moving, and the international market offers reasons to be optimistic, too.

Other metropolitan European cities, such as Paris and Berlin, have reopened and seen little fluctuation in square metre prices, boding well for house prices in London and the UK.

There have been several reports from agents on the usefulness of virtual viewings, too, so if you’re still not 100% confident about IRL viewings, stick with the VR experience.

‘Following the government announcement this week, large swathes of the property market can begin to reopen and tackle the “new” normal,’ added Cosgrove.

‘With estate agents, conveyancers, removers and surveyors able to return to work we hope to see the market regain some of the earlier momentum following the Brexit bounce.’