As a property finder and search agent in Prime Central London, and more specifically, operating in Kensington and Chelsea, I am well placed to judge how accurate the press reports are about this particular area of the London market.
As we’ve said to all of our clients over the last few years, the annual price growth figures banded around in the media (‘London flat doubles in 5 weeks’ was a favourite) are formulated by taking the average sale prices from a given area/street/postcode and comparing that data to previous years/quarters/months etc. If a new block of flats is built on a road that previously had only larger family houses that rarely changed hands, you can imagine how the statistics are suddenly skewed. There will be many more transactions taking place at lower levels and it would appear that the market has collapsed in this particular location. Dangerous things, statistics…
We’ve noticed that whilst prices have risen over the last 18 months, the true increase hasn’t been as close to the 20-30% level people seem to assume. Unrealistically priced property will sometimes sell in a market that is perceived to be rising quickly, but normally it will sit on the internet, attracting few viewings and generally testing the patience of an expectant vendor and wasting the time of an agent that should know better. Priced well, you will attract footfall and you will sell.
Does the seller of a certain 3 bedroom flat in Earls Court really think his/her flat is worth double what they had it valued at a year ago? The effect of them having a weak agent who clearly agreed with them to win the instruction, is that all their neighbours now think a new benchmark has been set and THEIR properties must all have increased by the same amount! Until it sells, the asking price is pretty unimportant in truth.
For an unbiased chat about the London market, or if you are thinking of investing in Kensington and Chelsea, do get in touch with me, Miranda Ludlam on firstname.lastname@example.org