With the London property market being as big as it is, I have to stay ahead of the curve in terms of my knowledge on the industry and the locations I work on.
Online research is a quick and convenient way to do this, whether it be press articles from major news outlets or the blog of a well known figure. This requires discipline as well as a keen eye for what is the truth and what is purely ‘doomsday’ conspiracy theory!
To understand my local area, I need to drill down on the information provided by these sources, to ensure that my investors get up to date information when it comes to potential deals.
If you read the latest property news in London, you’ll know it’s all doom and gloom.
The press will make you think that London is experiencing some sort of property market crisis, with headlines like “London House Prices Fall, House Prices in London tumble against rises in the UK” etc.
This is where you need a keen eye – don’t believe all that you read. These articles are often based on averages, and not all parts of London have been in a decline. It is important to know about your local area and your local market. Ask yourself:
1. Do we know if there is any regeneration going on?
2. Any grants to improve local amenities?
3. New transport links that will improve commute to Central London or big cities?
4. What is the demand in the local area?
I have lived in London for 14 years and started sourcing properties in my area, South East London – Greenwich Borough and surrounding areas. My research mostly concentrates on what is happening around me.
London is an interesting city, and even if most press outlets express a negative outlook, don’t be put off. There are always great investment opportunities around, especially in London – you just need to find them.
London has its own microeconomy, and things do work slightly differently than the rest of the country. When you drill down further into a particular location, you will find that some areas in London will perform much better than others.
The average growth rate on London properties over the last 5 years has been between 22% and 50%. They are amazing figures. Such growth really is not sustainable in the long run, let’s be realistic, and admit that there will be periods of time where the property market will stabilise and grow only slightly or maybe not at all. It may even decline – but that is not news. Like any open market, they all have their ups and downs. What is amazing about the property market is that even though an opportunity may not grow substantially, it will still make considerable money through its rental yield.
We can easily find that each area has different opportunities and different figures, so it’s always best to get a local person who knows the area involved.