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Market Commentary

Domestic buyers leading the buying market & enjoying certain advantages

Please see below our insights into the key prime London property trends we have seen over the past month.
 
As ever, we are on hand to share our market expertise and discuss any property search or property management requirements you may have. Please do feel free to get in touch.

Domestic buyers leading the buying market & enjoying certain advantages

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Since lockdown we have either exchanged on, or agreed, more than £30m of purchases for our clients and are currently retained on a further £14m of active searches.

All of our clients are UK based and some have been able to make the most of not having competition from overseas buyers. This lack of competition has been more relevant in some cases in Mayfair and Marylebone, for example, which are usually particularly busy with international purchasers at this time of year. 

In one case, we agreed the purchase of a lateral apartment in arguably the best portered building in Marylebone which ordinarily would have seen competitive bids if flight restrictions were not in place.

High proportion of off market properties

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Since lockdown we have either exchanged on, or agreed, more than £30m of purchases for our clients and are currently retained on a further £14m of active searches.

All of our clients are UK based and some have been able to make the most of not having competition from overseas buyers. This lack of competition has been more relevant in some cases in Mayfair and Marylebone, for example, which are usually particularly busy with international purchasers at this time of year. 

In one case, we agreed the purchase of a lateral apartment in arguably the best portered building in Marylebone which ordinarily would have seen competitive bids if flight restrictions were not in place.

Pragmatic sellers

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Many sellers are taking a pragmatic view, particularly when they have an onward purchase or the home is surplus to requirements. For example, earlier this week we agreed a family house in Hampstead Village for a British hedge fund client of ours.
 
We were given a three-day window to view the house as it was entirely ‘off market’ and our client flew back to London from his summer holiday on our recommendation.

We ascertained as part of our due diligence that the seller was circling a property in Wentworth, Berkshire and needed to sell his Hampstead house to buy it. Despite the vendor being adamant that he wouldn’t accept anything less than £9m we have – after a two week battle – now agreed the purchase for just over £8.5m as the seller didn’t want to risk losing his onward purchase. 

Rental prices lower but lots of activity 

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Many sellers are taking a pragmatic view, particularly when they have an onward purchase or the home is surplus to requirements. For example, earlier this week we agreed a family house in Hampstead Village for a British hedge fund client of ours.

We were given a three-day window to view the house as it was entirely ‘off market’ and our client flew back to London from his summer holiday on our recommendation.

We ascertained as part of our due diligence that the seller was circling a property in Wentworth, Berkshire and needed to sell his Hampstead house to buy it. Despite the vendor being adamant that he wouldn’t accept anything less than £9m we have – after a two week battle – now agreed the purchase for just over £8.5m as the seller didn’t want to risk losing his onward purchase. 

Our invaluable add-on

Our superb Settling In team have been particularly hard at work this month, working with clients to ensure house moves and lives keep running smoothly.
 
Many of these have been complex moves where clients either wanted full representation to ensure an exceptional moving experience, or they have needed their home to be packed up in their absence as they are not in London.
 
Some recent projects they have been managing:

An American family who left their house in St Johns Wood at very short notice to repatriate back to the USA before lockdown and didn’t have time to pack up their home.  

Our client is the CEO of a large insurance company who we had relocated to London with his family a number of years ago.
 
Our team liaised closely with him, his wife and his HR team to serve notice on the tenancy, oversee the check-out and deposit return, project manage the de-cluttering of their belongings, select charities to donate unwanted items to, close down all utility accounts and personally managed and supervised the entire packing up of the property and shipping its contents back to America.

A client moving to a 6,000 sq ft 4 storey house in Chelsea
 
Our client called us two weeks before moving, having been recommended to us by a previous client.
 
Our Settling In team helped her plan the move, oversaw the removal company on arrival, handled all unpacking of the family belongings (150+ boxes) and arranged her high value clothes and personal belongings creating a functional and wonderful space, despite it being half the size she was used to in her previous walk-in wardrobe. 
 
On day two there was no sign of a single cardboard box and their home was ready to enjoy and any move related stress had vanished.

Details of next year’s non-resident SLDT surcharge published

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The Government has now published its legislation to introduce a 2% Stamp Duty surcharge for non-UK residents buying residential property in England and Northern Ireland.

The surcharge is due to come into effect on 1st April 2021, and means that the “top-slice” SDLT rate on residential properties (payable on anything above £1.5m) will be 17%.

Recently published documents suggest that the levy will apply to overseas buyers who spend fewer than 183 days in the UK in any 365-day period, starting 12 months before the transaction and ending 12 months after (i.e. not the same as the statutory residency test, which looks at the tax year). Refunds may be available if a buyer “satisfies the residence conditions in the 12 months following the transaction”.

We expect this to encourage non-resident buyers to accelerate any buying plans they may have over the next 9 months, to ensure any acquisitions happen ahead of 1st April.

For full legislation and explanatory notes read more.

Top Residential Property Buyers 2020 

 

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We are proud to announce that SP Property Group have been named as one of the 2020 eprivateclient Top Residential Property Buyers. The award identifies and recognises the leading property buyers representing wealthy clients buying residential property in the UK.

We are honoured to have won many awards over the past 14 years and are always extremely proud to be recognised by the industry and our clients.