New recommendations from RICS to improve property market research


The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has developed new “Property in Politics” recommendations as a guide for new government ministers.

With the political landscape in the process of changing, it is hoped that the plans will ensure that the property market develops in a way which benefits the economy without being politicised.  They centre around the suggested establishment of a ‘Housing Observatory’ whose role would be to compile independent research allowing better long term monitoring and analysis of the property market.

The Observatory would assess the impact of current market structures locally, nationally and internationally, identify areas for improvement, and suggest and support new avenues for research.  One area which has been highlighted for review is Council Tax, which should, according to RICS, undergo a full assessment.

It seems certain that the property market will see sustained change over the coming years, which RICS hopes will be made with less connection to politics and more connection to property experts.


Property market: London gets back to the future

estate agents in south west london

The number of homes being sold in London each month exceeded 10,000 between January and March this year- the first time such figures have been recorded since the financial crisis took hold in November 2007.

These figures signal a return to form within London’s property market and an extraordinary start to 2014 during which house prices rose by up to 2.1% each month and 10.9% year on year. Homes within some London boroughs are rising in value even more dramatically; in Wandsworth they have jumped on average by 17.6% annually while in Lambeth the figure is 16.4%.

Reasons for these rises are clear to see. Following nearly six years of slower property market growth in the UK created by economic uncertainty and restricted mortgage availability buyers are finally returning to the market. However the number of properties available has not increased at the same rate, meaning buyers are flooding back only to find a limited to number of homes for sale – a situation that’s particularly acute in London.

This imbalance between demand and supply is leading to intense competition between buyers for the most desirable homes and, consequently, higher and higher offers.

With the market more active than it has been for years, the more innovative Estate agents are expanding to meet demand; for example, South West London agent James Pendleton has expanded its service to Brixton, Streatham, Tooting and Earlsfield this spring. The company, which is known for its emphasis on customer service, has launched an exciting new ad campaign which focuses on making the property search hassle free for the client. There has, many argue, never been a better time to sell.

“The extraordinary performance of the Capital’s property market is feeding through to all its boroughs but in particular into the new homes market; for example, 20 out of 33 London boroughs experienced an increase in new homes building recently,” says Ewen Bunting, Sales Director at James Pendleton.  Ewen can be contacted at the estate agents’ Clapham South and Balham office – 020 8673 7777.

London’s £1m-plus housing market is expanding

If you live in London and your home is worth more than £1 million then you may be one of the 60,000 or more people who joined this relatively exclusive club last year.

Approximately 240,000 apartments and houses in London are now said to be worth £1m or more and it’s a property market that has turned in an extraordinary performance over the past six or so years since the 2008 financial crisis.

As London’s economy continued to recover this year and unemployment hit a four year low at the end of last year so this increased optimism continues to feed through to the top of the market. Over the past 12 months some 10,000 £1m-plus properties were sold in London, up by over 10% compared to the previous 12 months, latest figures reveal.

“James Pendleton is confident that levels of activity in the £1m-plus housing market will continue to increase this year and although the price increases seen in the prime market within London may not reach the highs of 2013 which saw rises of approximately 9% across the Capital, we anticipate this buoyant market to continue,” says the London estate agents’ Sales Director Ewen Bunting.

London estate agents' Sales Director Ewen Bunting

London estate agents’ Sales Director Ewen Bunting

Experts say the London property market, particularly in central London, has become greatly influenced by foreign buyers and last year some £7 billion was spent by them on property within the M25, a level of investment which is expected to be repeated in 2014 despite new government policies designed to reduce tax breaks for non-UK homeowners.

But as central London’s high prices force many £1m home buyers to look elsewhere, estate agents in Clapham South, Fulham, Wandsworth and beyond are seeing more properties at this price being recorded on their streets.

Market Update by Coreco

Market Update

In the blink of an eye we are already well into 2012 now and there are some interesting things happening in the market, not least the fact that January was undeniably busier than most January’s I can remember in terms of the levels of enquiries coming through.

The wider economy in the UK also received a boost with The Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for services rising in January, recording the sector’s fastest expansion in 10 months and confounding forecasts for a slowdown. It followed surveys earlier in the week pointing to growth in construction and manufacturing, which could give sterling a boost going forward if there is further evidence the UK economy is not doing as badly as previously thought.

Whilst the levels of stock of property is an issue for many, mortgage finance looks like it is opening up further, especially at the higher Loan-To-Value bandings which is good news for 1st Time Buyers. There are now 17 lenders with products available at 90% LTV and even a few very competitive products at 95% LTV, starting at around 5.89%.

Whilst this may seem expensive given the low base rate, the reality is that a couple of years ago this was a decent 2 year fixed and historically speaking this is the type of product that should be affordable to many.

Our Best Buy Recommendations (with good current service)


Best Residential 2 Year Fixed

Lender Initial rate Until Subsequent Rate The Overall Cost for Comparison is
Nat West 2.85% 31.03.2014 4.00% 3.90% APR

Best Residential Long-Term Fixed

Lender Initial rate Until Subsequent Rate The Overall Cost for Comparison is
Accord 3.59% 31.03.2017 5.99% 5.20% APR

Best Residential Variable

Lender Initial rate Until Subsequent Rate The Overall Cost for Comparison is
Nat West 2.45% 31.03.2014 4.00% 3.90% APR

Best BTL

Lender Initial rate Until Subsequent Rate The Overall Cost for Comparison is
TMW 2.94% 31.01.2013 4.99% 5.20% APR

James Pendleton Estate Agents is associated with Coreco Group, an independent Mortgage Brokerage based in London.


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James Pendleton specialises in Sales, Lettings and Property Management with seven offices in South West London. We have a unique approach which was awarded twice in 2011 as we’ve been named Best UK and London Agency. Our team are highly experienced and are keen to share their knowledge about our services,  property market and property management, economic context,…

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