The UK property market has split in two with London and sought after cities in the south east set to perform the best and be in demand in 2014, according to a new analysis.
The capital city and commuter belt are being driven by the London effect and in the rest of the country some other areas of the property market are just beginning to stir, says the report from national estate agents Jackson-Stops & Staff which has more than 40 offices nationwide.
But as confidence returns to the City, the attractions of more space, good schools and better transport links have combined to make many buyers look at moving to the country in 2014 and with spiralling prices in London, the country market looks even more attractive, it explains.
‘Two distinct markets have emerged from the downturn. London’s occupancy profile has altered significantly. Mobility is more important to young professionals who move around with work and may opt or be forced to rent rather than buy. People are working longer hours and want to be relatively close to their offices. They also need to be available to meet clients,’ said Nick Leeming, chairman of Jackson-Stops & Staff.
‘Working from home for two days a week and in London for the rest of the time has become less attractive. As a result, the London influence on the rest of the UK remains weak and has resulted in a two markets effect but this will change as confidence in the City improves,’ he pointed out.
‘International demand will continue to underpin central London and service sector growth will continue to sustain demand in the South East. Elsewhere, the main drivers will be regional economic growth,’ he added.
The report outlines how the London suburbs and places within an hour of London by train are benefiting from the rise in prices in the capital. Good transport links, excellent schools, and an appealing mix of shops, restaurants, leisure facilities and open spaces tend to be the essential characteristics for an appealing destination to move to or invest. These apply equally to the London suburbs and to attractive towns and villages across the UK and, according to Jackson-Stops & Staff agents across the UK, will be among the main reasons for moving in 2014.
As shortage of stock continues to force prices up in prime central London, people are selling up and heading out of town to the London suburbs and Home Counties in search of a larger house and garden and a change in lifestyle. However, the bright lights of the capital as a leading global city remain undiminished for international buyers.
‘This part of central London is not only close to the West End and the City but also well placed for speedy weekend exits to the country. Its appeal lies in the eclectic mix of traditional and bohemian styles, plus wonderful schools, parks, high end boutiques, bars and restaurants,’ said Sebastian Anduze from Jackson-Stops & Staff’s Holland Park office.