Property pressures should lead to busy 2010 in London

"These included overseas buyers taking advantage of the weak pound, buyers who suspected that we had reached the bottom of the market and were keen to act before prices rose further, and first time buyers whose parents were lending them money for a cash deposit, rather than leaving their savings in the bank earning minimal interest. Tenants with cash in the bank have also returned to the market, because if borrowing with a large cash deposit, in some cases it’s now cheaper to buy than it is to pay rent each month.

"There is still a shortage of new properties coming onto the market in London and this supply/demand imbalance is keeping prices firm at current levels – approximately 7% below peak prices, and in some cases, buyers are paying peak prices.

"Over the past four months, we’ve seen a large increase in overseas clients, in particular Middle Eastern, Malaysian and Australian buyers who are taking advantage of the favourable exchange rate. Fulham has been a very popular area for buy to let, as there is good demand from tenants. Investors can usually buy a good two bedroom flat for £500,000 – under the 4% stamp duty threshold and with gross average rental yields of approximately 4.5%.

"There is a lot of conflicting research with regards to the economy and property market; the next 12 months appear quite dependent on interest rates as well as supply levels of new property for sale. If rates stay low and the supply/demand imbalance continues, I suspect the property market will remain buoyant over the next six – 12 months.

"In the short term, there is a sense of urgency amongst buyers to secure a property before the market quietens down for Christmas, so we’re certainly expecting to remain busy until mid December."

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