Discussing the state and outlook for London housing as U.K. nears the end of lockdown restrictions.
To view the recording, click the image below.
Q1 has indeed been a much busier than expected market for sales. The key drivers being the opportunity for domestic buyers to come into the market with a fewer number of overseas buyers. The lack of travel and restrictions of quarantines has meant that people from overseas have held back on visiting for investment. This however is leading to a pent-up demand of overseas buyers waiting to pounce once these restrictions lift, we will have further updates on this on 17th May.
The Stamp Duty deadlines are approaching, and buyers, agents and lawyers have probably not been busier in terms of people wanting to beat the deadline. Come the end of June the first deadline will be here, with the phasing then continuing over the next three months.
Hong Kong buyers are continuing to be prevalent in the UK market, and we expect this to continue and grow as the travel restrictions lift.
This quarter alone we have sold a high number of properties including a bulk sale for £15m, the Iconic Lost House by Sir David Adjaye, £6.5m, a house in Hampstead for £16m, and Eaton Place £4.25m. The current level of properties under offer is at its highest yet, and these sales are primarily a result of lifestyle changes, investment and “life after lockdown.” The key requirements that people continue to request are space (indoor and outdoor), light and views. Lockdown restrictions are lifting, and we can now meet clients for outdoor lunches, visit pubs and begin high street shopping again. In the business world, JP Morgan have announced that employees should be back in their offices by July, which only emphasizes the importance of the continuation of City living!
A recent government announcement was presented by the media as the most significant milestone in property ownership in decades. The answer to the question in the title should therefore be an emphatic “Yes” but is that a little premature?
The rights of leaseholders to extend a lease or to acquire the freehold are well established. The process is currently governed by the provisions of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (as amended).
Further to the government announcement in January 2021 (following Law Commission recommendations), the statutory landscape in England will change.
The timing and to what extent however remains to be fully determined.
Abolition of “marriage value”, being a sum that is linked to the increase in value of the property after a lease extension and payable to the landlord where the unexpired term of the lease is 80 years or less.
The right to extend the term of the lease of both flats and houses to 990 years at a zero ground rent.
The valuation of the premium payable will be simplified and an online calculator introduced.
Leaseholders would be able to agree a voluntary restriction on their development of the property (adding a storey for example) in order to avoid payment of development value.
A right for leaseholders to buy out the ground rent without having to extend the lease.
The future ground rent in new residential leases to be zero
The government announcement has undoubtedly placed landlords, leaseholders and buyers in a difficult position.
There is no timetable in place for the enactment of the proposals. There is no guarantee that the legislation will reflect the proposals. The proposals will inevitably be subject to scrutiny and challenge by freeholders on human rights grounds.
For example, there are freehold owning charities who rely on the income from ground rents and premiums (including marriage value) to fund charitable initiatives – how will this income be replaced?
A leaseholder with a lease that is approaching the 80 year mark ought to take urgent advice on their options as a decision to wait for the reforms could have significant financial implications.
Leaseholders of shorter leases ought to undertake a very careful analysis of the possible scenarios and the likely financial outcome of each.
For instance, the premium to extend a short lease in Prime Central London could be several hundred thousands of pounds (or more).
To delay an extension whilst awaiting the reforms could significantly increase the premium payable. If marriage value was to be abolished in the reforms this might negate the increase in premium.
There is however no certainty that the marriage value will be abolished entirely meaning there would be significant risk in deciding to wait for the reforms in such circumstances.
We would recommend that discussions take place at an early stage with an experienced lawyer and valuation surveyor to consider the various outcomes so that each route can be properly evaluated. There may also be opportunity for offers to be made to landlords who do not wish to wait for the outcome of the reforms.
There is a lot more to come in this story. Assuming the government does press ahead it could be 2-3 years before we know the extent of the changes to the statutory landscape.
If this is a subject you would like to learn more about please get in touch to schedule a call with David or myself.
The first quarter of this year has been extremely busy in the residential market, with our team agreeing significant sales on a weekly basis with both our locally based clients, and we have naturally also seen an increase in remote purchases from our international clientele.
As we head positively towards air corridors reopening and with a large backlog of interest from international buyers planning to fly in to London we are expecting a highly active Q2 & Q3 in sales.
世界富豪都愛的繁華衛星城：Esher, Weybridge, Ascot, Cobham
l趕快聯繫 Catharine Che 車倩毓
Head of Asia Department 亞洲區總負責人
Residential Development & Investment 住宅項目及投資
To celebrate the partnership between Difference Coffee and UK Sotheby’s International Realty, we were delighted to offer the opportunity to win a collection of Difference Coffee’s Classic Collection, the best selling boxes (valued at £99). These coffee pods are Nespresso-compatible capsules, and used by some of the best restaurants in the world. Simply sign up to the mailing list using the form below for your chance to win and don’t forget to share the contest with a friend.
Entries were accepted until 20th December, 2020 and the winners will be notified shortly after. One winner will be chosen at random. Prize is non-transferable and must be fulfilled before 31st March, 2021. By entering this contest, entrants confirm they are 18+ years of age.
The major news is that Chancellor Rishi Sunak has now raised the minimum Stamp Duty threshold to £500,000; where previously Stamp Duty was paid on homes sold for at least £125,000, for first time buyers, or on properties sold for more than £300,000.
However for those in the upper real estate market…things get a bit cloudier. Understandably, each case and situation is different so we encourage you to call us to find out how much you will be saving under the new rules.
Variables include whether or not you’re buying a second home, an investment, and the various price ranges above £500,000.
You could save thousands.
Buyers are now more actively looking to purchase.
Regarding the effects of the Covid-19 Lockdown on incoming post-secondary student activity from China to the UK, existing students are making-do with online classes but have expressed missing out on the quality and efficiency of classroom teaching, in particular face to face communication with teachers and classmates. We are receiving questions about whether Chinese families will continue to send their children to the UK for education – and the answer is YES. However, it is too soon to tell the quantity.
In the short term, Coronavirus may have dampened our will to travel worldwide, and we do expect a certain reluctance to take long-haul flights. The English may fear going to the country of origin, and the Chinese may fear coming to the European hotspot where we are still in the throes of battling the virus. In the long term, there are other socio-economic and political factors at play. However, we are seeing a particularly swelling level of enquiries from Hong Kong looking at the UK as a potential “safe-haven” with the political uncertainties and the welcoming gesture made by Boris Johnson on the promises of citizenship.
For those students and families looking to emigrate out of China, achieving an education in the UK is still a desirable and valuable option. However; if we are considering Hong Kong’s situation with respect to political changes enforced by China, we may see a new wave of immigration via education.
From the Chinese perspective, UK has performed incredibly well to offer support during the lockdown and their prevention methods were also successful in flattening the curve. So will we see more Chinese students arriving to the UK post-Coronavirus any time soon? It might be a while.
Our China Desk has made a significant sale of £12 million over the lockdown period, and have continued to make strides with closing property investment deals where virtual viewings were sufficient to satisfy investor needs. While we know the bigger investors have been relatively minimally impacted, the investors with a more modest budget will wait to hedge their bets till the time they can fly over to view in person. We continue to provide a wealth of information, promoting our virtual viewings and virtual reality options to Chinese enquiries coming in from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vancouver; thus they gain a UK Sotheby’s International Realty education in UK real estate for both clients and buyers without the classroom setting.
Surrounded by a rewarding mix of modern style and iconic history, London Dock is situated in the heart of the capital, moments from Tower Bridge, The Tower of London, St Katharine Docks and the City. With a number of London underground and Docklands Light Railway stations within walking distance, London Dock offers quick and easy access to London’s main financial centres of the City and Canary Wharf, as well as the exciting cultural and creative neighbourhoods of Shoreditch, Whitechapel and Bermondsey.
Wapping is a truly authentic destination, filled with independent cafés and restaurants, which has for hundreds of years been a vibrant part of London life. The Prospect of Whitby – London’s oldest riverside pub – was popular with Charles Dickens, diarist Samuel Pepys and renowned artists Turner and Whistler. By the river, Hermitage Community Moorings attracts sailing barges, tugs and small boats, keeping alive Wapping’s river heritage.
The Tower, St Georges Wharf, London, SW8
3 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 1,252 Sq. Ft.
Romney Street, Westminster , London, SW1P
3 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms | 1,252 Sq. Ft.
As of 15th of June, face coverings will be required on all public transport in England
As we emerge from lock-down, staying alert is part of the new normal. We are open for business and we continue to follow the guidance provided by the government. We are booking viewings and valuations as per usual with respect to new safety measures.
See our other post for advice on Washable Face Coverings
Choosing the right agent for your needs is especially important when making large life decisions, especially for a new home or a new investment opportunity; you need a personal connection and mutual understanding among the parties. While Russian myself, I have been in the UK for almost 9 years and, before joining Sotheby’s International Realty, I was working with private family offices serving the needs of UHNW individuals.
M: +44 (0) 755 740 16 26
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T: +44 (0) 207 498 95 80
In our next feature of the Global Series we travel to Cape Cod to interview Emily Van Giezen of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty. I first met Emily in Los Angeles at a Sotheby’s International Realty conference and we have been part of the Next Gen group with agents from around the globe sharing ideas and knowledge. I’ve also personally spent time in Cape Cod as a child during summer holidays and loved the scenery and beaches it has to offer. If you are thinking about a second home in one of the finest areas in the USA I’d be very happy to introduce Emily and her team.
I currently reside in Orleans, Massachusetts on Cape Cod- a fantastic coastal community. Originally I grew up in New Jersey just outside of New York City where I worked for a number of years before relocating to the Cape.
Cape Cod is famous for it’s beautiful sandy beaches, sunsets, fresh oysters and seafood, lighthouses, and endless summer activities. Many love the accessibility of bay and ocean waters for relaxing days on their boats. It is also home to the last standing drive-in movie theatre on Cape Cod from 1957 which is a popular evening experience for visitors and locals alike. I personally love the Chatham Bars Inn and Wequasett resorts as well.
Although we do have many year-round residents, Cape Cod is primarily a second home market. Summer rentals are also popular. Many originate from the Boston, New York, and New Jersey areas. We do see a number of folks from the UK and West Coast as well. The real estate market is active at all times of the year with core activity during the late spring, summer, and early fall. As a full time Cape Cod resident, it is delightful to experience these months as they come to life. During that time each year these folks help our local economy thrive. I’ve met some amazing people of which I still have close relationships with today.
My favourite listing is one that just came to market. It is a custom built and well maintained ranch style home located in a private association. A beautiful inlet with a sandy beach that is private to the association residents is particularly attractive because of the dock and deep water access. In the town of Orleans (and surrounding towns), the list is quite long to obtain a public mooring. The home itself abuts seven acres of conservation land which means the backyard will always be screened with trees as it cannot be developed. Am I allowed to drop some branding? Professional media and details can be found at www.58lakedr.com.
Homes continue to list and sell daily, though the activity has significantly decreased in pending sales – about 50%. Despite this shift, value remains consistent. It is predicted that sales and rentals will bounce back quickly. The Cape is easily accessed by car and for many that will mean choosing this mode of transportation over flight when planning vacations. Interest in commutable second home markets as a future precaution is also very likely. Additionally, the current circumstances have launched us into utilizing and normalizing technology that has been available to us for a long time. Orleans, as are other towns, are quite close knit. Observing the community and small business owners coming together to support each other is incredibly heart warming. We truly are all in this together!
Being proactive! I recommend:
– Starting each day with ten minutes of journaling. Write down 3 things you are grateful for, how you want to show up for that day, and a positive message to yourself. Be your own cheerleader!
– Ask yourself: Have I eaten? Have I showered? Have I done something creative?
– Also start this day with a list. Organize into high and low energy tasks.
– Build a schedule and stick to it. Include time for self care and honour your boundaries. What are your non-negotiables?
– Celebrate your small wins throughout the day
– Stay connected but know when to take a break and disconnect. Tune in to both your physical and mental health. Practice grace with yourself.
– Mental stretch: what does your 8 year old self need?
– InsightTimer App is my go to for guided meditation and calming music.
– Prepare for a more peaceful sleep and “brain dump” before bed. Write it all down and clear what is weighing on your mind. Calming tea also helps!
I don’t know the originator of this quote, but I write it down I’m my journal everyday: “When you let go of what no longer serves you, you create space for what is meant to be.”
Selling real estate on Cape Cod itself! I meet amazing folks from all walks of life and have seen and sold some incredible homes. Experiencing the positive energy of visitors and homeowners is electric as Cape Cod is a safe and special place. They are excited to be here. My parents first purchased their own property when I was just three months old and we have been summering here ever since until permanently relocating. Everyday is my best story as I observed my parents live out their dream, now I am able to help others do the same. Including my own! I love having the creative freedom to take my business and listings to the next level because an artist, I practice art through operating my business. Client satisfaction is the greatest measure of this success.
Londonnnn! I have always wanted to visit during the holidays. Hopefully early December!