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Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Published: 17/10/2021 By Tam van Wyk

Of all the seasons, autumn is one of the most beautiful - full of soft light and trees of orange and gold. It’s a time of pumpkins and Halloween and, this year, the kids should even be able to do a spot of trick or treating. Or, at the very least, go to a spooky party or two. It’s also when, refreshed by our summer breaks, we put our heads down at work and try to get everything done and dusted before Christmas. And, with Covid seemingly in retreat, that means everywhere you go there’s a happy hum of activity, especially in London’s property market.

As I’m sure you know, we’ve been banging on for some time about the return of London’s buyers (and renters). When you’re working on the front line, you tend to see these trends developing from their early stages. It can take a while before there is any hard evidence, but now the data is coming through thick and fast. There is even a new nickname for those coming back to town  – ‘Boomerang Buyers’ and a similar moniker could be applied to renters. The resurgence is being driven not just by those wanting to move back permanently, but also by a considerable number who just want a London bolt-hole for when the commute gets too much.

As a result, prices and demand are rising across the board, even as they are softening outside of town. London’s rents, for example, were up for the fourth month in a row in September. It wasn’t a small rise, either – they were up by as much as 2.6%, the second highest growth rate in the country. It wasn’t long ago when they were at the bottom of the growth pile, often even slipping into negative territory. There is a very similar scenario in the sales market, although, as you’d expect, it is running ever-so-slightly behind the rental sector. House prices rose by 0.4% in September and they look set to continue on their upward trajectory for some time to come. For London’s landlords, it’s particularly welcome news. During the course of the pandemic they’ve had to deal with increasing rent arrears and eviction bans, but now both their assets and their incomes are growing once again.

Well, that’s my lot for this month, but before I go, I’d like to wish you all a fun-packed and happy Halloween and I’ll be back again in November.