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London prices up, downsizers dominating marketplace?

Alex Johnson

e043785621600ef32dcf0a5435678b2dbc505d49 300x199 London prices up, downsizers dominating marketplace?Continuing our ongoing series featuring the crystal ballgazing of estate agents, the latest predictions come from Marsh & Parsons who believe London’s property market will see price rises slow rather than stop in 2013.

They forecast that prime London house prices will rise by 3-5% in 2013, with the majority of the growth to come in the early part of the year.

Peter Rollings, CEO of Marsh & Parson, said: “We’re not going to see the spectacular price rises seen in the past couple of years, but London’s prices aren’t going to completely flatline. 2012 started incredibly strongly, and we expect a similarly strong spring market to provide the main thrust for annual price rises as buyers return to the market after Christmas. Interest rates aren’t likely to rise next year, and this will keep a lid on forced sales, holding back overall sales activity in the year, but keeping competition high enough to sustain house prices.”

Moving to the rental market, Rollings added: “2012 was a mixed bag for the rental market in prime London. Rental growth has been muted at the top end of the market following the disrupted summer and anxiety among city firms. But at the other end of the spectrum, property up to £1,000 per week has been performing well, and will be a key driver for any rental inflation next year, especially south of the river in areas like Clapham, Balham and Battersea.”

Meanwhile, Katie Hunter, New Homes Manager at Waterfords Land & New Homes, concentrated on the new homes market. “We are finding the appeal of a new property is increasingly attractive to cash buyers looking for a suitable investment as well as downsizers, and this current trend is looking set to continue throughout 2013. In real terms, sales in our New Homes division are already sitting at 90% against target for the financial year April 12 to April 13, which can only suggest that demand in the new homes sector in Surrey and Berkshire remains strong.

“We are expecting a very comparable 2013 with cash buyers and downsizers still very much dominating the marketplace. A lot of our stock throughout 2012 was predominately targeted towards the higher end of the market due to demand from cash rich buyers. Taking into consideration inflation levels and continued growth in the market, we will see modest price rises in some areas and in some selective postcodes they will remain stable, but with incentives from many developers in place this won’t discourage first time buyers.”

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