Competition for South West London homes at a peak as prices continue to rise


The increase in central London property prices has had a knock-on effect.

Central London property prices have been ascending to stratospheric levels in the most desirable areas, and the knock-on effect has meant a rise in house prices in Fulham, Putney & Wimbledon.
It is not a picture that represents the rest of the UK, with prices falling across many parts of the country that are no longer seen as desirable.
It is no great surprise that investment in bricks and mortar is seen as a safe option where levels of growth are still possible, when compared to the rather dire rates for depositing your money in a bank or investing in an unreliable stock market.
Neither is it surprising that property prices are on the rise in SW London, with the most desirable properties creating fervent interest and sealed bid scenarios.
Everyone wants a great place to live, and London property prices have barely dipped, despite the harshest recession in living memory.
Since the ‘Funding for Lending’ scheme has finally kick started, once again there is some competition back in the mortgage market and things are improving.
Combined with exceptionally low interest rates, it is now possible to finance a purchase. This combined with a three plus year malaise in house purchase, has made properties in SW London ‘hot’ again.
The common perception is that mortgages are hard to come by, and for many they still are, but if you have a suitable deposit and income, it is not that hard to achieve.
It is now possible to raise money from your existing property cheaply, via a re-mortgage, and buy a new house or flat, also locking into low rates. This has played into the hands of landlords and investors who continue to benefit from high rental yields and returns in a buoyant market and to find buy to let purchases attractive.
In terms of how best to buy, you need to prepare suitably. A meeting with an ‘independent’ adviser who can assess your financial situation overall and give you an idea of what suitable financing might cost and what deposit is demanded is vital.
Once you know your options, and ideally you have been ‘agreed-in-principle’ and credit-checked by a bank, you are ready to go and able to spot a good deal out there in the property market. Being able to move quickly and fluently is vital at the moment. Interest rates are exceptionally low and to take advantage, you need to be clear what is possible and be ready.
Once you find a property, the mortgage process needs to be in the hands of an experienced adviser, who can promote your position to an estate agent, but also help you to get your hands on a mortgage offer in a suitable time-frame. There are some good investment deals to be had in the property market, especially on a buy-to-let basis.
We may not see the same dramatic gains as in the property boom of the eighties and nineties, but don’t be surprised if we continue to see sustained year-on-year growth in the SW London property market. Don’t kick yourself looking back at what could have been or question your low pension pots – mortgage money is available and property investments are out there to be bought.’
Oliver Whitehead is the Managing Director at Oportfolio, the Putney based mortgage broker.
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