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London mortgage market thriving, buyers’ desires and air pollution

After a busy spring period, the London property market now moves into full swing during May, June and July. Here’s our latest market update, covering the London Mortgage Market and all the things that sellers, landlords, buyers and tenants in the capital need to know.

London Mortgage Market  – more products available since 2008

For prospective property buyers in the capital, the news isn’t always promising. However, when it comes to the London mortgage market there certainly is something to shout about these days.

According to Moneyfacts, there are now more mortgage products available to buyers than at any time since 2008. To be precise, at the beginning of May there were 4,460 products available, a figure which stood significantly lower at 3,611 just 12 months previously.

As you can see, there is now greater diversity and selection for mortgage borrowers, add in to this record low interest rates and everything is not quite as bad as it sometimes seems.

This is also good news for property sellers, too. If there are more mortgage products available at better rates, this will encourage more buyers to enter the market and therefore increase the competition for homes.

Could air pollution info be included in property ads?

You may have noticed that air pollution can sometimes be a bit of a problem here in London. A toxic air alert was issued for the first time in London over “very high” pollution levels, causing major public concern over the health impacts of living in congested areas.

Well, according to the National Association of Estate Agents, property listings may soon include compulsory information on air quality.
This means that when you come to sell – or you’re looking to buy – the property advert would include a ‘traffic light-style’ pollution warning.

Buying agent Henry Pryor said that homes in high polluted areas could sell for up to 15% less than a similar property in a less polluted location. And therefore, the inclusion of air quality on property adverts could have an impact on property values in city centres.

What home features are most popular with prospective buyers?

We’re always told that location and affordability are the key criteria when it comes to searching for a home. We would argue that they still are, but it’s always beneficial to get a fresh perspective on things…

A recent study of 2,000 homebuyers, carried out by GoCompare.com, found that central heating, double glazing and a garden are the three must-have features that would persuade them to purchase a home.

Other popular features identified by the survey were a reliable broadband connection, friendly neighbours and a good energy efficiency rating.

Interestingly, some other traditionally popular features and criteria didn’t even make the top 20, such as proximity to good schools, period features and conservatories.

Now there’s some food for thought…

And…don’t forget that General Election

It’s unlikely that you haven’t been bombarded with information about the General Election on June 8. But, in case you’re in the minority, here is a property-related election update…

In successive days, we’ve now had manifestos from the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Theresa May’s party has put forward a number of proposals for the housing industry. One of the most surprising is the Conservatives’ pledge to reform the home buying process, which it describes as inefficient and costly.

The Tories have renewed their commitment to delivering one million homes by the end of 2020. And the party has also confirmed that it will ban letting agent fees charged to tenants should it win the election next month.

Labour has pledged to build over a million new homes should it win the election. The party also says it will prioritise brownfield sites for development, while protecting the green belt. When it comes to the Private Rented Sector, Labour has pledged to ban letting agent fees, introduce a rent cap and make minimum three-year tenancies the norm.

The Liberal Democrats, meanwhile, have put forward a target of building 300,000 new homes a year. For the rental market, the party is keen on long-term tenancies and a Rent to Own model for tenants.

That’s it for this month, we’ll be back in June when the political outlook will be a lot more settled.

If you need any advice on selling or letting a home in London, Atkinson McLeod would be delighted to help. You can get in touch with your local Atkinson McLeod branch here.

To find out how much your property could be worth, why not request a free and instant online valuation?