Discussing the state and outlook for London housing as U.K. nears the end of lockdown restrictions.
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2020 and 2021 undoubtedly saw a large increase in enquiries and moves from urban areas to more rural ones. There were two kinds of people: Those who moved lock stock and barrel and those who bought a place in the country and retained either their home in the city or ever downsized in the city. So far, following the success of the inoculation program, we have not seen a return to the city, with many movers now settled into their new areas and successfully working from their new home office. Locations near transport have been key and as long as there is an excellent road or rail network nearby, there has been little limit to how far from the city they are prepared to go, perhaps restricted by time instead.
For example, at the time of writing we have a couple buying a beautiful mews house within stunning rural converted stables and surrounding lakes and lawns, forming part of a larger manor house, whilst they retain their home in London. They love the idea of being close to their children and grandchildren, only a few miles away, yet they can be at their London home within 45 minutes. Our mailing list has increased exponentially with buyers looking for the perfect family house away from the city and at some point this will slow down, but right now, all the evidence is for this market to continue.
Most of the properties that have been taken up by this migratory force have been the larger family homes. Families with younger children through to late teens. Great schools nearby have been important, although many of the children stayed at their school, as long as they are boarding or commutable. At below £500,000 the market has been pushed along by factors such as the stamp duty holiday but also the pent-up need to move over the last year caused by working from home, births, employment etc. In prices over £1,000,000 it tends to be houses with great gardens and a good home office that have the greatest appeal and as said before, close to transport, yet away from the busy roads.
Buyers remain interested in unmodernised properties that they can renovate to their own specification and design but also, especially properties that are presented fully completed.
Properties in the commuter belt remain hot targets for buyers with a shortage of good stock and buyers waiting to pounce. A great house will sell very well and within a short period of time. Buyers are there waiting. Buyers from the UK and from international hot spots such as Hong Kong are longing to find the perfect house and if it is priced at the market value and presented well though all the mediums available, this really is a great time to sell or let your house. With the new school year fast approaching, buyers have every reason to capture the market today. Not only will they potentially save £15,000 stamp duty, they will enjoy their new gardens throughout this probable staycation summer.
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!
Like many industries over the last 12 months, especially one that has been built on face-to-face meetings, real estate has had to adapt to survive and utilizing the latest technology has become essential for us to succeed in the new normal.
In particular and now more than ever as we find ourselves in the midst of a 3rd lockdown, virtual reality (VR) is one of the most effective tools available and here’s why:
Prospective buyers and renters can view properties directly from devices like computers, tablets, and smartphones anywhere in the world.
VR tours can help prospective applicants immediately envision themselves in the home – it allows people to explore a property in detail and to actively engage with what they see in their own time.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in both an aversion to human contact where possible and increased familiarity with digital tools. When buying or renting a house, people are therefore better prepared to complete the whole process online and VR makes this how process much more transparent, as buyers/renters are fully aware of the condition, size, and location of the home from the very start.
As an industry leader, we have fully embraced the use of VR and see this becoming an integral part of our industry, even after the pandemic is behind us. With restrictions across the capital likely to strengthen over the coming weeks, maybe days, it is essential that you are best prepared for what lies ahead and while estate agents can still show property for now, there is every possibility this might change. If agents aren’t able to show property and applicants can only view properties online then without a proper VR tour available, there is every possibility you could find yourself with a vacant property and no income.
Get in touch with us now to speak about this further and get a quote for your home!
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Media Requests for UK Sotheby’s International Realty:
Deborah Battsek: email@example.com
Britain’s Most Expensive Houses follows top agents from UK Sotheby’s International Realty as they offer insight on some of the most spectacular properties on the market. Channel 4 picked up on the need to provide a little escapism whilst also acknowledging a world-wide trend as people sought properties with more space in light of the pandemic and the stamp duty holiday. The documentary will air at 8PM on the 28th of December.
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.
To tell my story, even in brief, I have to go back…. way back…. to the late 1800’s, to my Great, Great Grandfather, Archibald Cameron Corbett.
The son of a successful Glasgow merchant and philanthropist, Archibald became one of the principle developers of east London, with some prominent areas of London and a residents society , The Corbett Society, is still named after him.
Later he became involved in politics joining the Liberal party & then becoming the MP for Glasgow Tradeston until his retirement from the House of Commons in 1911, when he was created 1st Baron Rowallan.
He was amazingly generous gifting free accommodation and in extreme examples, whole country estates and parks to the local people for their pleasure.
For example, Rouken Glen Park, a beautiful 143 acre house and park, in Glasgow was given to the citizens of Glasgow and similarly the stunning 9,000 acres of the hills to the north west of Glasgow known as Ardgoil Estate (right)
In 1901 Archibald bought the Rowallan Estate, some 6,000 acres in Ayrshire, Scotland and having already got a cold 12th century Scottish castle on it, he decided to build a bigger, modern home for the family to live in…and that’s where I grew up…my childhood home.
The New Castle
My Great grandfather, Thomas, the 2nd Baron Lord Rowallan was awarded the Military Cross in WWI for attempting to dig out some wounded soldiers who had been buried by artillery, while “under heavy fire and in full view of the enemy”, receiving a leg wound which left him with a permanent disability. He became Chief Scout of the Commonwealth and British Empire in 1945, was governor of The Bank of Scotland, received the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh and became a Knight of the Thistle, a position that merits a seat that is still an attraction on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh today. He served as the Governor of Tasmania from 1959 where there are still areas named after him. Thomas was married to Gwyn, who was the sister of Jo Grimond, Baron Grimond, the leader of the Liberal Party.
Now to my Grandfather, Arthur, 3rd Baron Lord Rowallan. A veteran of WWII he won a Croix de Guerre, a French military decoration awarded to those soldiers who distinguish themselves by acts of heroism involving combat with the enemy for his part in the 2nd world war & moved to Spain where he ran several very popular bars restaurants & night clubs.
My Father, John, 4th Baron Lord Rowallan, a chartered surveyor and highly respected international show jumping judge is now retired & lives in Scotland not far from the former family estate.
The estate and my family home were sold in the late 1980’s to pay inheritance tax and other unaffordable costs.
Since my mid-teens I have been a hard worker, working various local jobs gaining experience and always paying my way. Farming was in my blood, driving alongside the combine, collecting the corn and driving all 18 tonnes up and down the A1 in Northumberland to the depot for one job. The scenery working in Morayshire, northern Scotland, east of Inverness, was arguably the most scenic. Selling houses there was simply breath-taking.
I made a decision when living in Edinburgh to make my first proper foray into England to complete my education at The Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, Gloucestershire the place I considered best for training to become a farmer / country estate manager. Whilst there and for a few years after, I worked in various bars /clubs and estate agencies and selling ex MOD properties for a large national developer. I had summers returning to my farming roots working on potato farms; literally working 18 hours a day, 7 days a week earning a fantastic salary and used this as both experience and to save money to contribute to buying my first house.
In 1997 I found a vacancy in an Estate Agency in in Fulham, London. Having never really been to London or indeed lived in London I saw this as a great opportunity and took it. It was there that I flourished in my early career.
In 2003 on the birth of my first child I moved out of London to a small hamlet just outside of beautiful Bath. I worked for several years for one of the world’s leading international properties companies before heading further south to Dorset to a large south western multi discipline agency. I loved that firm, but the bright lights of London beckoned again and we moved again. However, this time not all the way in.
Settling in Cobham, Surrey and now with two children, I commuted to my old London firm who had asked me back! Under my direction, this amazing local firm grew and grew in success and was ultimately bought by a large multi-disciplinary national firm before I finally settled with UK Sotheby’s International Realty. With a few tough life changes under my belt, I am now settled in my job, have a house in the leafy and beautiful village of Cobham and live in a small village outside of Gatwick, just within the Surrey borders.
We have an office right on Cobham High Street close to the meandering River Mole with its resident ducks to the vast array of local shops. From the mix of housing, some of it old and some of it new, large or small, we as a company can engage and can identify with it all. My children went to schools locally in Downside and Cobham and are now in Leatherhead. Cobham is the perfect place for someone with my story. So much of my life experience lends itself to working in Cobham.
UK Sotheby’s International Realty deals with an array of property covering the whole of the UK from our Cobham office. Last year we sold a gloriously positioned mews house in Albury at £455,000 and as I write, I’m working on a sale at around £30,000,000. We really do cover it all and will work on any house for the right client at the right price. It is all about working together, client and agent, as good advice and good marketing will result in amazing sales. It’s not the value of the property that makes UK Sotheby’s Realty so special, it’s the clients that we work with. Any price, anywhere, as long as there’s a market, we can help. Any price, anywhere, in any market, we can help.
Contact Jason Corbett
m +44 (0) 1932 860 537
38 High Street, Cobham
Surrey KT11 2SJ
This regulation will affect new private residential tenancies from 1st July 2020 and all other tenancies already in existence from 1st April 2021. Currently, this level of regulation only applies to licensed House of Multiple Occupancies (HMO).
Properties let on statutory periodic tenancies where the fixed term expires between July 2020 and April 2021 will require an inspection and test at this point under the regulations. For statutory periodic tenancies – where on expiry of the fixed term the tenancy rolls over into a periodic tenancy automatically by statute (rather than by contract) – the periodic tenancy would be a new tenancy.
There are some tenancies that will be excluded from the new regulation; social or resident landlord, long leases or tenancies granting a right of occupation of seven years of more, student lettings in halls, tenancies granted to occupiers of hostels, refuge care homes, hospitals or hospice. All electrical wiring and fixed electrical installations will need to be signed off and reported by a qualified electrician.
This report will be required to be shown at the beginning of every new tenancy and renewed at least every five years or earlier if any electrics or fixed electrical installations are altered or changed by the landlord. If the report highlights any issues, the landlord will be required to remedy these within 28 days or sooner dependent on the recommendations contained within the report.
If landlords don’t comply with the recommendations made in the report and this is reported to the Local authority they have the power to issue a fine of up to £30,000. They will also be granted the power to carry out any required works and seek to impose the costs of such actions onto the Landlord. It is more likely that they will serve a further notice of 28 days in order for Landlords to carry out the specified works before imposing any further actions and potential fines.
An Electrical Installation condition report (EICR) is a report carried out to assess the safety of the existing electrical installation within a property and is used to describe its condition. Parts of the system that are reported on include consumer units, protective bonding, lighting, switches and sockets etc.
The EICR will be graded Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory and will detail a list of observations affecting the safety or improvements required.
Questions about Property Management
Unsatisfactory codes are:
C1 – DANGER PRESENT, RISK OF INJURY, IMMEDIATE REMEDIAL ACTION
C2 – POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS, URGENT REMEDIAL ACTION REQUIRED
F1 -FURTHER INVESTIGATION REQUIRED
Satisfactory code is:
C3 – IMPROVEMENT RECOMMENDED
These regulations do not place any defined requirements on fixed portable electrical appliances provided by the landlord, however due to the awful tragedy of Grenfell it is recommended to all my landlords.
you will not be in breach of the duty. You could show reasonable steps by keeping copies of all communications with your tenants and with electricians as you’ve tried to arrange the work.
The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector ( England ) Regulations 2020: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2020/9780111191934
Explanatory Memorandum to The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector ( England ) Regulations 2020 :
If your property is managed by Sotheby’s International Realty please contact Andy with your instructions to carry out on your behalf.
m: 07525 595 504
For questions about the event email London@sothebysrealty.co.uk.
Recorded on Wednesday 13th May, 2020
1800h GMT | 0700h Tahiti
Join Guy Bradshaw, Director of London Residential at UK Sotheby’s International Realty, as we discuss the property market in French Polynesia. Jacques Menahem, Owner of French Polynesia Sotheby’s International Realty will give us an overview of the benefits of owning a private island, including price points, the right steps to take, and what to watch out for. Explore the benefits of having property in French Polynesia as we’ll answer questions about permanent residency vs. secondary home and island ownership. Find out what you need to know to invest, buy and rent property in that region.
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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!