When it comes to selling your home, it helps hugely if you can get an insight into the mindset of buyers to find out the things they most desire.
For many, location will be a key consideration. And, more than that, the amenities on offer in the local area where they are looking to buy.
New research by a property website has now revealed the amenities that British people are most interested in – with some slightly surprising results.
The rising influence of budget supermarkets
For many years, British buyers have typically looked for homes which fall in the catchment area of a good or outstanding school. Now, though, a study suggests that proximity to discounter supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl is a more important priority.
Some 39% of those surveyed said they would like to live close by to a budget supermarket, while only 29% prioritised a 'certain school catchment area'.
A budget supermarket nearby is most desirable among younger generations, with 54% of 18-24-year olds placing it top of their wish list. But this desire for a bargain steadily reduces among older generations, with the study revealing that only 34% of over-45s long for a budget supermarket on their doorstep.
The lure of attractive surroundings
Budget supermarkets might be rising in popularity, but they weren't quite the most desirable amenity. That honour was bestowed upon scenic views (44%), with local restaurants/bars (37%), traditional pubs (36%) and independent shops (34%) also making the top five.
Meanwhile, high-end supermarkets such as Waitrose and Marks & Spencer are still popular (32%), while a 'certain school catchment area', access to walking trails, coffee shops and a local library completed the top 10.
It's important to remember that, even though this research suggests that the desirability of a home in a good catchment area is waning, it’s still likely to be a key consideration for many buyers – particularly those with young or nearly school-age children, and those thinking of starting a family soon.
South East London offers something for everyone
Every buyer is different, but there are some things that prove universally popular and timeless. This list includes good access to supermarkets, plenty of green space nearby, strong transport links, a varied selection of eateries and independent shops, excellent schools and local community facilities such as libraries and parks.
Fortunately, the areas we operate in at Living in London – Bermondsey, Surrey Quays, Canada Water and Rotherhithe – offer these must-have amenities in abundance. From stunning scenic views over the Thames to ample green space, South East London certainly scores highly when it comes to the features that buyers are most likely to desire.
What’s more, transport links in this part of town are superb – with Canary Wharf (one stop away) and ‘The City’ both easily accessible from Canada Water on the Jubilee Line. This makes it an ideal base for young professionals who work in one of the world's key financial hubs. As well as Tube connections, commuters also benefit from London Overground services, reliable bus routes and National Rail links from this part of the capital.
Easy access to all ‘London Airports’ is available, especially to City Airport, while the incoming Elizabeth Line includes a stop at Canary Wharf. Once the line is operational, commute times from here to Central London and Heathrow will be slashed, while it will be easier than ever to reach the suburbs in East and West London, Essex and Berkshire. Given Canada Water’s proximity to Canary Wharf, the Elizabeth Line will be another bow to add to our areas’ superb transport links.
If it’s traditional pubs, bars and restaurants you’re after, then South East London also comes up trumps. The best of these are The Brunel, The Mayflower Pub, The Angel and The Ship
Culture vultures are also well catered for, with this part of the capital being home to the Brunel Museum and the London Bubble Theatre, as well as a number of historical landmarks – namely the Swan Road Mosaic Mural and the Moated Manor House of King Edward III.
As for green space, Southwark Park, Stave Hill Ecological Park and Russia Docks Woodland more than cater for the desire for a place to breathe, relax and escape from London’s famous hustle and bustle.
In addition, Canada Water is home to a fantastic library (the impressively designed and simply named Canada Water Library), which is open every day and offers weekly and monthly activities for both adults and children. And, of course, like all parts of London, there is no shortage of coffee shops on offer – from chains like Starbucks to brilliant independents like the Canada Water Cafe.
As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, Canada Water and Rotherhithe are undergoing significant regeneration – with significant investment being pumped into the former as a result of the Canada Water Masterplan while the proposed foot (and cycle) bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf continues to generate excitement.
Work with an experienced local agent
To improve your chances of selling your home, it’s crucial that your marketing campaign points out the various local amenities on offer – such as transport links, local schools, supermarkets, pubs, restaurants, green space and coffee shops – as these could all help to convince a buyer to make an offer.
It's also important to partner with a reputable local agent to ensure you set the right asking price for your home. Go too high and you could deter buyers; set it too low and you risk selling yourself and your property short.
To discuss your options in greater detail, you can get in contact with Living in London on: 020 7231 0002.
We also provide free instant online valuations to give you an idea of how much your property is worth in the current market.
As we enter a new year, thoughts often turn to new starts and fresh beginnings. For many, buying or selling a home will be high up on their list of New Year’s resolutions.
But, if you’re planning on selling a home in the year ahead, what do you need to know?
Below, using our experience of operating in the busy, lively south-east London housing market, we take a closer look…
Now is a good time to sell
For a long while now, the post-Christmas boom in property market activity has been something to hang your hat on – reliable and guaranteed. Interest and hesitant buying plans formed over the festive period are now enacted upon, leading to a very busy period for the property market in the first three months of the year.
The property portals typically enjoy record traffic in the time between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, with people using the extra free time at their disposal to browse for properties or tentatively put their home-buying plans into action.
Figures for this Christmas suggest that Rightmove experienced record visitor numbers on Boxing Day, some 25,147,701 pages viewed according to a tweet by the property firm.
What’s more, the Daily Mail claimed that more than two million people trawled through multiple Rightmove listings on Boxing Day, while the paper also said there were 40 million online viewings of homes, compared to 38 million on the same day in 2017.
Put simply, the number of eyes on your property at this time of the year is likely to be much higher, which in turn will improve your chances of selling with relative ease. If you haven’t already listed your home, now is a good time to act to take advantage of the traditional surge in buyer interest at this time of the year.
Brexit certainty could bring market stability
The uncertainty caused by Brexit has undoubtedly had an impact on many parts of life, and property hasn’t been immune from that. A RICS report released just before Christmas suggested that many buyers and sellers were electing to sit tight until the position over Brexit became clearer, while there has been much talk about the dampening effect the political turmoil in Westminster has had on house prices, particularly at the higher end of the London market.
Although the property market has largely batted off political and economic issues in recent years – taking a business as usual approach even in the face of referendums, snap general elections and prolonged withdrawal negotiations – it is still one that thrives more when certainty and stability are the order of the day.
For now, it’s little surprise that some buyers and sellers are holding back, but greater clarity over the final withdrawal agreement would no doubt lead to a more confident, assured sector. The current situation is still highly unclear, with everything from a no deal Brexit to a second referendum still on the table, but hopefully we will know more once the meaningful vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal has taken place (scheduled for the week starting January 14).
On the upside from a seller’s point of view, the fundamentals of the market remain the same – with demand still hugely outstripping supply – which means that sellers are still in a good position when it comes to negotiating on asking prices, especially in London.
Prices should continue to rise
Despite the B-word hanging over all aspects of life, most property experts are predicting house price rises in 2019 – or at the very least no change.
That should particularly be the case in property hotspots such as Canada Water, a part of South East London which is being hailed as one to watch out for in the year to come thanks to substantial regeneration works in the pipeline.
Long in the shadow of near neighbour Canary Wharf, the former dockside area had been rather neglected until recently. Now, as well as being home to excellent transport links, easy access to the Thames, foodie hubs such as Hawker House and close proximity to London Bridge, Borough and Elephant & Castle, it is also becoming a commuter hotspot.
The Canada Water Masterplan, which we outlined in a previous blog, is driving the area’s increasing popularity, and its status as one of the Mayor of London’s Opportunity Areas is also helping to attract buyer interest.
This, of course, can be used to your advantage if you are selling a home in the local area. Ensure that you make use of the exciting redevelopment it is undergoing when trying to sell your home. The great transport links on offer (not just Jubilee Line, but London Overground services too) should also play a key role in your sales pitch to prospective buyers.
It’s not just Canada Water, either – the other areas we operate in (Bermondsey, Surrey Quays and Rotherhithe) also have plenty going for them and plenty to attract those looking for London living slightly away from the hustle and bustle of the capital’s busiest areas.
How much could your property be worth this year?
Here at Living in London, we provide instant online valuations to give you an idea of what your home is currently worth.
In 2019, like any other year, it’s important that you set your asking price at the right level to avoid putting off would-be buyers or selling yourself short.
It’s also vital that you work closely with a reputable local estate agent to ensure you avoid overvaluing, which could prohibit your chances of securing a sale.
If you would like to discuss your options in greater detail, you can contact Living in London on 020 7231 0002.
An experienced local agent with an excellent knowledge of the area they operate in – including price trends, buying demographics, and the best times of the year to sell a property – can drastically improve your chances of setting a realistic price, generating significant buyer demand and achieving a quick and painless sale at the right price.
How to choose the right estate agent
These days, there is no excuse for not carrying out thorough research and due diligence on any agent you instruct. As well as an estate agency’s website, you can also check through their social media accounts to see how they advertise and market properties. What’s more, you can analyse agent review sites to see how your agent stacks up against the competition. There are pros and cons to review sites, but they generally offer a good indication of an agent’s overall reputation.
Another good marker of an agency’s standing is awards – and, more to the point, how often an agency has been rewarded for, say, their excellent customer service or high levels of professionalism. Here at Living London, we’ve been delighted to receive a number of awards for our work in recent months, including Best Property Letting Agency of 2019 at the 2018/2019 Global Business Insight Awards and ‘Best Independent Estate Agency 2019 - London Borough of Southwark’ in the 3rd annual UK Enterprise Awards.
As well as awards, research and reviews, good old-fashioned word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends, family or colleagues still have a role to play when it comes to choosing the right agent. If, for example, an agent has done a fantastic job of selling a home – for the best possible price – for a close relative or family friend, it stands to reason that they will provide a similar service for you. Estate agency is still an industry that is largely built on reputation, in a similar way to restaurants or hotels. It’s why we place such value on customer service and the client experience, to ensure we get return custom and that customers would be willing to recommend us to other people.
How to set the right price
One of the most important things to get right when selling a home is the price, and as we said above it’s a difficult balancing act. This is where your agent (should) come into play. They will understand the local market trends and be able to set the price at a level which is appropriate and most likely to generate considerable demand from buyers.
At Living in London we offer instant online valuations to provide you with a general idea of what your home is currently worth (these valuations aren’t always 100% accurate for a number of reasons, but they act as a good guide), and we also offer a more accurate face-to-face property specific valuation by way of a free no obligation appraisal/valuation undertaken by one of our professional, knowledgeable and experienced valuers.
Don’t just take our word for it
In a recent blog, we highlighted research from property website Zoopla, which revealed that the first hour of a property’s listing on a portal is the most important when it comes to generating leads, with the highest number of consumers expressing an interest in a property within the first 59 minutes of the listing going live.
Further, these interested parties are those who have taken time to register for ‘new property alerts’ as well as very actively monitor the market, as such are very motivated and keen buyers, which is exactly what agents and sellers should be trying to attract.
Advertising a property at over the true market value often won’t register with these such buyers as they may have set a ‘search price of up to 525k’, and a property worth 525k, but being advertised at 575k, won’t reach such motivated buyers. In the likelihood of not selling at 575k, and where a price drop is required down to 525k, some of the buyers who would have been interested are no longer active as have purchased alternative properties, and the property now may look a little ‘stale’ (depending on how long it has been advertised for) and ‘desperate’ (by having a price drop) which can often lead to buyers asking….’Why a price drop, what’s wrong with the property?’, this then may lead to buyers placing offers lower than they may have done had the property come on initially at this ‘true value price’.
As such, it’s vital that you get your pricing right from the off so as not to dissuade prospective buyers, and when you do get the initial interest and offers, don’t dismiss such offers or question if the property may be worth more, as (provided your agent has done their job accurately) this is exactly the time you should be getting offers as this is when the most interest will be generated and the majority of potential buyers been reached.
Canada Water/ Surrey Quays/ SE16
Sellers in the South East London area will also have been boosted by the results from a study which found that prices here are set to rise faster than most of Greater London in the next few years as a result of substantial ongoing regeneration – in particular through the £4 billion Canada Water Masterplan.
Thinking of selling, letting, buying or renting, or already on the market
If you would like to discuss your options in greater detail, and find out more about selling, letting, buying or renting a home in Canada Water, Surrey Quays or the surrounding areas, you can contact Living in London on: 020 7231 0002.
The study, from global property firm JLL, predicts that house prices in South East London are set to increase faster than much of Greater London in the coming years thanks to significant regeneration throughout the area.
A sizeable part of this regeneration is formed around the Canada Water Masterplan – the progress of which we recently covered – which accounts for 3,000 of the 31,000 new homes currently in the pipeline in this part of the capital.
The £4 billion British Land project, which is set to complete its first phase in 2022 and be fully completed by 2033, is aiming to transform Canada Water, Surrey Quays and the surrounding areas, with two million square feet of workspace and one million square feet of retail, leisure, entertainment and community space, including a new high street and a new relocated Tesco store.
There will also be 15 acres of open space, including a new town square and park, as well as some 20,000 jobs up for grabs once the project has reached its conclusion.
In addition, the project will transform the fortunes of historic buildings such as Surrey Quays Shopping Centre and Surrey Quays Leisure Park, as well as the former Harmsworth Quays Printworks and the former Rotherhithe police station.
The buzz and hype surrounding Canada Water is already having an impact on house prices, with Zoopla data suggesting that the current average values of homes in the area have been rising steadily over the last 12 months, while in Surrey Quays it’s a very similar story.
As well as the Canada Water Masterplan, the area could also be transformed by the proposed Rotherhithe to Canary Wharf Bridge – London’s first pedestrian and cycle bridge and a great way of linking one of the capital’s most up-and-coming areas with an already well-established global hub.
What else could boost house prices?
It’s not just regeneration that can help to increase house prices, home staging can too. In fact, a recent survey from The Home Staging Association UK & Ireland found that 38% of property sellers said home staging increased the offer value on their home by 1-3%, while a further 16% cited a 7-10% rise in offer value.
Some 85% of those responding said that a staged home sells up to three times faster and achieve a higher price.
As we can see, effective staging can have a significant impact on both the price achieved and the speed at which a sale can happen. Preparing your property so it looks its best is something you can do, or something which can be outsourced to a specialist staging company.
How much is your property currently worth?
It’s hugely important, when selling your home, to set a fair, accurate and realistic asking price. Set it too low and your risk selling yourself and your property short, but set it too high and it will put buyers off.
Recent research from Zoopla shows that the first hour of a property's listing on a portal is the most crucial when it comes to generating leads.
According to the property website, the highest proportion of consumers express an interest in a property and are classified as leads within the first 59 minutes of the listing going live.
This therefore reinforces why it is so crucial to get your pricing right from the start so as not to deter prospective buyers.
To help you on your way, we provide instant online valuations to give you an idea of what your home is currently worth. While these valuations aren’t always 100% accurate, they give you a good idea and guide to what your home could go for.
If you require a more accurate face-to-face property specific valuation, we suggest you contact us to arrange a free no obligation appraisal/valuation.
It’s also vitally important that you work with an experienced, local estate agent – and here at Living in London we can provide the expertise, local knowledge and skillset to help you get the best possible price for your home.
To discuss your options in greater detail, and learn more about selling a home in Canada Water or Surrey Quays, you can contact Living in London on 020 7231 0002.
The awards celebrate strong, vibrant and diverse businesses from across UK industry that ‘year upon year develop and grow their products and services to befit its new audience and situation’.
Even at a time of political and economic uncertainty – in particular caused by Brexit – the best businesses in the UK property market continue to thrive by offering consumers the unrivalled customer service and exceptional value for money.
Such resilience and strength are what the UK Enterprise Awards seeks to showcase and reward through the accolades it hands out.
What’s more, the accolades are issued entirely on a merit basis and not the number of votes received. The awards team has a meticulous process whereby parties are rewarded based on their excellence in the industry, the quality of their products and their dedication to service.
Rather than an awards evening, the UK Enterprise Awards believes that winning businesses are best served through continuous exposure from their public platform and diverse annual winners’ magazine, which means that Living in London’s name will regularly be in the spotlight on a fully optimised website which receives an average of 55,000 page views per month.
A reputational boost
As you’d expect, we are always delighted to receive awards for the work we do as it validates the excellence of our staff and the high standards of customer service we aim for.
We have won numerous awards over the years, with the most recent ones being the ‘Best Property Letting Agency of 2019’ award at the 2018/2019 Global Business Insight Awards in January and the ‘Gold Sales’ award for the South East region in the Best Estate Agent Guide in December last year.
These awards and the other accolades we’ve received in the past, offer proof to our clients that we don’t just talk the talk but also walk the walk when it comes to providing top-class customer service. It also further highlights our local area expertise, our bespoke approach to each client and our efforts to improve and enhance the community in which we work.
Why list with us?
As the awards we’ve won attest to, we offer our clients a professional, efficient service, with a key focus on customer service and aiding you through the sales or rental process.
If you are looking to sell, buy, let or rent a home in Surrey Quays, Bermondsey, Canada Water and other locations in the London Borough of Southwark, you should seriously consider contacting us here at Living in London to see how we can best advise or help you. You can rest assured that you’ll be receiving expert service and the best local knowledge, something backed up by the recent accolades we’ve received.
Awards, of course, aren’t the be all and end all, but they aren’t just given away or handed out without reason – they have to be earned, and act as a good barometer of quality when people are searching for the right agent for them. If you’re wavering over which agent in South East London to use, our awards success, reputation and experience should convince you to at least contact us to see how we can help.
For more information on the services we offer, please get in touch with us on 020 7231 0002.
We also provide instant online valuations so you can see how much your property may be worth on the current market for rental or sales.
For more local area and property news, you can read our update on the Canada Water Masterplan, as well as our piece on what landlords should consider before leaving the rental market.
But what is the latest state of play for a project that is set to complete its first phase in 2022?
What is the Masterplan?
First things first, a quick recap. The Canada Water Masterplan, set to be fully completed by 2033, will provide new shops, restaurants, bars, leisure facilities and entertainment venues, as well as thousands of new homes and a large quantity of workspace to an area that is already a popular, well-connected commuter hub.
The project – which plans to create a new urban centre for SE16 - is still subject to receiving planning permission from Southwark Council, but British Land (the developer behind the proposals) hopes to secure this soon. The planning application is set to be heard at Southwark Council’s Planning Committee in the coming months.
British Land recently submitted some minor changes to the Masterplan planning application, with Southwark Council undertaking statutory consultation on these revisions between mid-March and early April 2019.
The major advantages of the project, however, remain the same. These include:
- 3,000 new homes in total, with 265 homes across the first two residential buildings that make up the first phase of the development, and 35% of these bracketed as affordable housing.
- New health and education space to improve the social and community infrastructure in the Canada Water area.
- A wide range of significant community benefits, including a new police hub and a replacement leisure centre for Seven Islands.
- Two million square feet of workspace and one million square feet of retail, leisure, entertainment and community space, including a new high street and a new relocated Tesco store.
- 15 acres of open space, including a new town square, park and ecological improvements to the western edge of Canada Water Dock.
New low-cost workspace to open in Canada Water
As well as the ongoing preparation works for the Canada Water Masterplan, a new (temporary) low-cost workspace will open its doors, located on the site of the former Flame Grill restaurant in Surrey Quays Leisure Park.
The disused space will be converted into ‘a multi-functional workspace suitable for a variety of start-ups and small-scale businesses’, known as Thrive.
It will be operated by Tree Shepherd, in partnership with British Land, as part of the wider ‘Start Up and Thrive’ programme which has been aiding local entrepreneurs for the last year and a half.
It’s a further example of a thriving area working for the benefit of all demographics, and goes hand-in-hand with the Canada Water Masterplan’s goal to transform a commuter hub into a place that can act as an employment base in its own right, with a thriving new town centre and a previously rundown area fully regenerated.
An area with considerable potential
There must have been a reason why British Land chose Canada Water for such a substantial regeneration project – its geographic location, existing infrastructure and popularity among buyers and renters makes it ripe for improvement and enhancement.
Transport links are already superb, Surrey Quays shopping centre ensures excellent local amenities are on hand, Hawker House food market is a foodie hotspot, and the Thames is right on the doorstep – but the Canada Water Masterplan will help to elevate the area to a higher plain than ever before.
How much could your Canada Water property be worth?
It’s difficult to give an exact figure or percentage of how much the Masterplan will affect prices of existing properties. Whilst it will raise people’s awareness of Canada Water, as well as the number of amenities, which will attract more people wanting to live and purchase property in the area, there will be an increase in the property supply and therefore the amount of people and traffic, all of which could have a negative impact.
We predict that the desirability increase will outweigh the negatives and therefore prices of existing properties will increase. Of course, other factors such as Brexit and government changes to the private rental sector and taxation will play a part, but we are of the belief that the sales market and prices in the area will perform strongly over the coming years. We are already seeing the ‘green shoots’ of this with demand increasing from end users as well as investors becoming active again.
How much is your property currently worth?
Here at Living in London, we provide instant online valuations to give you an idea of what your home is currently worth (for rental or sales). Although these valuations aren’t always as accurate as we would like, they give you an idea. Should you wish for a more accurate face to face property specific valuation, we suggest you contact us to arrange a free no obligation appraisal/valuation.
If you are planning or thinking of bringing your property to the sales market, or if it is currently on the market, we stress the importance of ensuring you set your asking price at the right level to avoid putting off prospective buyers or having to ‘chase the market’ with price drops. Equally, you don’t want to sell yourself short by undervaluing.
It’s also vital that you work closely with a reputable local estate agent who has specific area knowledge and a track record of selling properties similar to yours, so to give you the best chance of selling your property at the right price and in the right timescale for you.
To discuss your options in greater detail, and to learn more about the big redevelopment plans for Surrey Quays and Canada Water, you can contact Living in London on 020 7231 0002
In December last year, four landlords per average letting agency branch quit the market and sold up – with an even higher figure in London. The number of landlords in the capital selling their properties hit six per branch during December.
The trade body’s Private Rented Sector report also found that the supply of rental property across England was down 4% year-on-year.
Why are they leaving?
As we alluded to above, landlords have in recent years faced a raft of new regulation and legislation designed to make buy-to-let investment less attractive.
This hasn’t only included an extra 3% stamp duty surcharge on second and buy-to-let homes and the slow withdrawal of tax relief, but also changes to the Wear and Tear Allowance, new energy efficiency regulations and tighter restrictions on buy-to-let lending.
As letting agents operating in London, we fully understand the challenges and issues being faced by landlords and sympathise with those who feel they have no choice but to leave the market.
And with the government seemingly remaining intent on punishing landlords further – despite the rapid growth of the private rented sector and an increase in renting across all demographics – there may be fears that things won’t get any easier.
Those thinking of entering the market may, too, be put off if they believe there will be more difficulties than rewards.
However, with the right type of rental homes in the right kind of market, landlords can still achieve good yields and make a decent return on their investment.
Demand high in up-and-coming areas
Here at Living in London, we operate in a number of areas which enjoy high demand from tenants – whether it’s young professionals opting for Canada Water or Surrey Quays as an ideal base for their daily commute to Canary Wharf or The City, or creatives and foodies looking to enjoy the breweries, food markets, art galleries and design studios of Bermondsey and London Bridge.
In all our locations, there is plenty to recommend to tenants – from bars and restaurants, to green space, riverside walks, great pubs and independent coffee shops.
As a landlord operating in these areas, you should have little trouble filling your rental homes with good, reliable tenants.
What’s more, with property here being cheaper than other parts of London, your yields won’t be squeezed as as much as they would be in more expensive areas of the capital.
To help you get the most from your tenancies, you need to partner with an experienced, reliable local letting agent, who can help you keep on top of all new and existing regulation and legislation, occupy your home with good tenants and manage the whole process throughout to keep issues and stress to a minimum.
A long-term reliable asset class
Property has often been considered the go-to asset class for many investors looking to make solid, reliable long-term returns.
One of the key reasons for this is due to high tenant demand which means landlords can fill their properties quickly and keep void periods to a minimum.
What’s more, all the recent evidence points to demand for rental homes continuing to rise. It’s been widely reported that there is a growing number of middle-aged and family renters who are helping to swell the private rented sector to a greater size than ever before.
The most recent English Housing Survey confirms that nearly 20% of households now rent privately, making it the second largest form of tenure in the country. In London, meanwhile, private renting is the biggest form of tenure, with nearly 30% of households living in privately rented accommodation.
And this is only set to grow in the coming years, with predictions that approximately 25% of households will be renting by 2021.
Meanwhile, for those with a firm eye on capital gains, the continued resilience of London house prices is a cause for optimism. Despite the issues caused by chronic Brexit uncertainty, prices in the capital rose by 3.4% in February, according to Rightmove’s latest house price report.
Working with property experts is essential
As our agency was created by three landlords who all own property in London, we have a special understanding of what it takes to ensure a smooth tenancy, as well as the importance of tailoring our services directly to landlords. We’re also well aware of the challenges landlords face and well-equipped to help you overcome these obstacles and thrive in the current market.
Our property management team takes care of the tenancy throughout, while we have a team of experts to ensure your property is occupied with the right tenants from the start.
We also offer high-profile marketing to make sure your homes get the exposure they deserve, while our Canada Water office has an unrivalled location inside Canada Water tube station, ensuring that the number of eyes on your home (via our state-of-the-art interactive touchscreen display and dynamic window cards) is huge.
For more information on the services we offer, get in touch with us on: 020 7231 0002.
We also provide instant online valuations so you can see how much your property is worth on the current market.
After being awarded the Best for Sales in South East London in December 2018, we’re delighted to announce that we’ve also won the ‘Best Property Letting Agency of 2019’ award!
Agents, investors and small businesses gathered at the 2018/2019 Global Business Insight Awards to celebrate business leadership, investment and sector success, with some of the biggest industry names in attendance.
Votes are gathered all-year round via a number of digital channels and then evaluated by an experienced team. The categories included: Business, Investment, Finance, Professional Services, Women in Business and Finances, Mergers and Acquisitions and Technology – each with their own sub section.
Living in London was awarded the ‘Best Property Letting Agency Award’ after being recognised for our customer service, local area expertise and bespoke approach to each client, which has allowed us to maintain lasting relationships in our community.
Another award win for Living in London
Awards should matter to a business, as they help to highlight and identity those that are performing well in their respective industry.
At Living in London, we strive to exceed the expectations of our clients. Winning this award, as well as the others we have accumulated over recent years, showcases our unrivalled commitment to customer service and putting our clients first.
On the move in 2019?
If you’re looking to buy, sell, rent or let a home in Surrey Quays, Bermondsey, Canada Water and other South East London areas, then it’s time to get in touch with Living in London.
As you can see, we take customer service very seriously and this is reflected in the awards we’ve won in recent months.
For people making property decisions this year, the expert knowledge of a professional and dedicated agency will be hugely valuable.
Once again, the whole team at Living in London is excited to be recognised for our hard work and the effort we put into our services. Here’s to a successful 2019!
For more information on the services we offer, get in touch with us on 020 7231 0002.
We also provide instant online valuations so you can see how much your property is worth on the current market.
If you’re considering listing your house on the market with a low-cost, upfront fee online estate agent, you may want to think again.
As an independent agency operating in South East London, we know there are a number of advantages to using a traditional high street firm over an online or upfront fee one.
Now, though, this has been backed up further by research from The Advisory – which offers free, independent and expert advice to house sellers.
Its findings revealed that high street estate agents achieve an average price of 5% more than online-only agents in around 75% of sales. They also achieve more viewings and offers than their online counterparts.
Why is this?
Online agents are heavily reliant on portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla to find buyers. While portals are an excellent way of generating interest in properties, they are less good at actually getting results.
The research found that, while Rightmove generates approximately 52% of viewings, it produces only 36% of offers and 27% of the best buyers.
By contrast, high street agents generate 48% of viewings, 64% of offers and – in nearly three-quarters of cases – a 5% higher sale price.
That would translate to a loss of £12,500 on a sale of a £250,000 home, according to The Advisory, if an online-only agency was used rather than a traditional one.
Of course, any good traditional agent will also advertise heavily on the major portals, which means sellers won’t lose out in this sense by opting for a high street firm.
Local knowledge and experience
As the research above states, opting to use an online-only agent could lead to fewer viewings and lower than expected offers. By using a local estate agent with branches in areas of high footfall you can increase your chances of getting viewings, attracting serious buyers and receiving offers that properly reflect the true value of your property.
Here at Living in London, we operate two branches - one is inside Canada Water Tube station and one is located at Marine Wharf, a lively new dockside development in Surrey Quays. This not only means we can build good relationships with local buyers, it also means we are fully aware of local trends which could help to get your home sold more quickly.
As we pointed out in previous blog, there are a number of things buyers of property in South East London will be looking out for, and the areas we cover offer these in abundance. Good transport links, a lively social scene, garden space, parking and fast broadband speeds are all likely to feature as must-haves, with good local schools, amenities and green space also likely to be key considerations.
You should employ a multi-pronged marketing strategy – including traditional and online methods – to improve your chances of getting your home sold. It’s also important to remember that every home is different, which is why we offer a tailored approach to our sellers to ensure you get the most from your sale.
Picking the right agent is a crucial part of what is likely to be one of your biggest financial transactions. You need someone you can trust, someone who will go above and beyond to ensure the sale goes through without any hiccups. Partnering with a highly trained team, which offers the best possible customer service, is therefore crucial.
Setting the right asking price
To improve your chances of selling quickly, you need to make sure that your initial asking price is set at the right level. For this to be possible, it’s crucial that you work closely with an experienced estate agent with excellent local knowledge to ensure your home isn’t priced incorrectly. Too high and you risk deterring buyers; too low and you run the risk of selling yourself short.
For more information about getting your home sold in South East London, you can contact Living in London on 020 7231 0002.
You'll also probably be eager to know how much your home could be worth in the current market, which is where our expert valuations can help.
When it comes to selling a property, it pays to know what buyers are looking for. If you can provide as many of these features or must-haves as possible, it's inevitable that your chances of selling will increase.
But what are buyers of homes in South East London most likely to be prioritising? Below, using our experience of working as an independent estate agent in the area, we delve a little deeper...
Good, reliable transport links are likely to be a draw for most buyers, but none more so than in London – where many people commute into the City, West End or Canary Wharf for work. South East London is something of a commuter hotspot thanks to its handy location and relative affordability in comparison to more central parts of the capital north of the river.
At Living in London, the areas we operate in – Canada Water, Surrey Quays, Bermondsey, South Bermondsey and Rotherhithe – are blessed with excellent transport links, providing easy access to other parts of the capital.
Canary Wharf is a mere stone's throw away (two minutes on the Jubilee line from Canada Water), while Waterloo can be reached in just seven minutes and Westminster is a nine-minute commute.
Tube, Overground and National Rail are all on offer in this area, while buses, cycling and walking are other popular options. From Rotherhithe or Bermondsey, for example, it's only a short walk or cycle beside the River Thames to Tower Bridge, London Bridge and Borough Market.
As a major selling point, especially in London, good access to strong transport links is hard to beat. It's something that many buyers will prize and is likely to make your property for sale all the more appealing.
Gardens are sometimes smaller and narrower in London given the higher density of housing and tighter streets, but that doesn't mean outside space won't still have appeal to prospective buyers. Green space of any kind is likely to be a popular selling point, so if your home has this it's a good idea to show it off.
All kinds of buyers will be interested in a garden, even more so if it's south-facing.
Of course, at this time of the year, with the nights drawing in and the temperatures falling, the garden is unlikely to see much use. But it shouldn't be neglected or allowed to fall into disrepair.
Shabby, overgrown garden space will not help to get your home sold and could actively hinder your chances. Upon seeing an unmaintained garden, a buyer viewing your property might then be extra aware of any other flaws or issues in your home.
It's therefore a good idea to try and maintain your garden at all times of the year – even more so if you are selling.
Despite all the various transport links on offer, many Londoners still like to have a car on hand. But, in a very busy city where parking spaces are often at a premium, having a car can sometimes seem like more trouble than it's worth if getting a parking slot proves difficult or even impossible.
As such, if you have guaranteed parking spaces outside or close to your property – in the form of a driveway, a garage or a parking permit – this is likely to be a key selling point for many buyers.
Things to do
London is certainly the place to be in the UK if you want easy access to a staggering array of museums (very often free), theatre shows, independent cinemas, shops, restaurants, cafes, markets, leisure centres, green space, music venues and iconic landmarks.
As Samuel Johnson once said, 'when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life' – and if it's things to see and do you're after, the capital is absolutely unrivalled. The buzz, opportunities and cultural prowess of London will definitely be a key factor for people looking to buy here, and it's something you can use as part of your sales strategy.
In the areas where we operate, there is White Cube Bermondsey (a very popular contemporary commercial art gallery), Surrey Quays Shopping Centre, Surrey Quays ODEON, an indoor go-karting venue, Southwark Park and Athletics Centre, the Brunel Museum, the London Bubble Theatre Company, Hawker House street food market and a host of pubs, restaurants, micro-breweries and cafes.
Not to mention the River Thames right on the doorstep, simple access to Canary Wharf and fast commute times to the West End.
Prospective buyers might also be looking for fast broadband speeds and space for a home office if they happen to be self-employed or work from home on a regular basis. The kitchen, meanwhile, is likely to be the most scrutinised room in a home nowadays, while bathrooms, living rooms and master bedrooms will also be closely inspected.
More than anything, of course, buyers will be looking for a clean, attractive, well-maintained home. They'll want the property to be homely and characterful but won't want to feel like they are intruding – so the right balance needs to be struck when it comes to viewings.
For more information about getting your home sold in South East London, you can contact Living in London on 020 7231 0002.
You'll also probably be eager to know how much your home could be worth in the current market, which is where our expert valuations can help.
You need to ensure that your initial asking price is set at the right level to improve your chances of selling quickly, so it's vital that you work with an experienced estate agent with excellent local knowledge to make sure you don't value your home incorrectly.
With thousands of estate agents all over the country, it’s hugely encouraging to be recognised and we’re delighted to receive praise for the efforts and hard work that we put into our service.
What is the Best Estate Agent Guide?
The Best Estate Agent Guide aims to identify the UK's exceptional estate and letting agents. It reviews factors like marketing, delivery, customer experience and market share.
All estate agents taking part were monitored over a six-month period, culminating in the analysis of 50,000 mystery shops, 1.5 billion property views and 1.5 million transactions across over 25,000 branches.
As part of the Best Agent Guide Awards, the top 5% of the country's 15,000 agency brands were shortlisted. From this, the best agencies - depending on size - were given awards for their region.
Being named as the Gold winner for sales in the South East means that we are in the top 0.25% of estate agents in the whole country!
This speaks volumes of our enthusiasm to deliver the best possible service for our customers and the dedication of our hard-working team.
Reputation and trust play an important role for consumers when it comes to buying, selling, letting or renting a property and awards help to identify the best agents around. This, in turn, helps customers to make an informed decision and choose to deal with a reliable and trusted estate agency.
With awards helping to shine a light on those offering the best customer service, an award-winning agency can genuinely say that they stand out from the crowd and offer something more than their competitors.
Moreover, awards provide an incentive for agencies to strive to commit to the best possible customer service. Agents that have the chance to win an award will be encouraged to improve their offerings to make the consumer experience fruitful.
Of course, awards aren’t the only deciding factor for consumers, but they act as a useful measure for buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords to take into consideration when choosing an agency to work with.
About Living in London
Created to offer a service by landlords, for landlords, here at Living in London, we provide sales, lettings, property management and investment services from our offices in Canada Water and Marine Wharf.
Our bespoke approach to each client and local expertise has helped us to achieve positive, lasting relationships within our communities.
As well as the recent Gold Estate Agent Guide award, Living in London was voted as the ‘Best Letting Agent 2017’ in the Propertywire Awards and won the ‘New Starter’ category in The Wharf Property Awards. We were also named ‘Best Estate Agent in SE16’ two years in a row as part of the allAgents Customer Experience Awards.
We strive to exceed the expectations of all our clients, whether they’re selling, buying, letting or renting a property with us.
For more information on our services, you can get in touch with us on 020 7231 0002.
We also provide instant online valuations to give you an estimate on your property’s worth in the current market.
As we outlined in a previous blog, this time of year is great to sell a home, driven by increased buyer demand, the desire to be in homes before Christmas and the boom that follows the traditional summer slowdown.
And, fortunately for those looking to sell a home in Canada Water, Surrey Quays, Bermondsey, Rotherhithe or South Bermondsey, there are reasons to be optimistic – despite the ongoing Brexit negotiations and the well-publicised struggles of the prime London market.
Buyers seeking greater affordability will be looking away from the centre, to up-and-coming areas with excellent transport links, more reasonably priced property, a good selection of green space and a growing range of places to eat and drink.
Canada Water to benefit from significant investment
The £4 billion British Land project to transform and enhance Canada Water – providing thousands of new homes, a huge amount of workspace and new shops, restaurants, bars, leisure facilities and entertainment venues – is helping to keep interest high in this sought-after commuter hub.
Prices have risen here by around 13% since 2015, according to Rightmove, and the average price currently stands at just under £525,000 – relatively affordable by London standards, which makes it appealing for second steppers branching out from a starter home and young professionals looking to get on the ladder for the first time.
As one of the Mayor of London’s Opportunity Areas, Canada Water is experiencing more investment and regeneration than most. This kind of thing tends to be attractive to potential buyers, who will want to buy in a desirable area where there is the prospect of decent house price growth in the future.
With the first part of the Canada Water Masterplan potentially being completed by 2022, and the project as a whole reaching completion by 2033, the chances of house prices rising steadily are good as demand for homes in one of London’s boom areas grows at a rapid rate. Even now, a number of developments are ongoing, which is further helping to encourage buyers to the area.
Two of its main draws are its transport links and its closeness to Canary Wharf. It’s one stop away from Canary Wharf - one of the world’s key financial centres - on the Jubilee Line, and also plays host to London Overground services providing quick commutes to cultural hotspots such as Shoreditch High Street, Hoxton and Dalston.
Bond Street, in the heart of the West End, can be reached in just 12 minutes, while it’s even quicker to get to London Bridge, Waterloo and Westminster.
As a property seller, you can use the excellent transport connections, the planned developments and the buzz surrounding Canada Water to your advantage. Make sure, on viewings, that you or your estate agent talk positively about the local area and its main attributes, as location is very often a key factor for London buyers and could swing their decision either way.
Affordable residential living in London
Surrey Quays – once a key part of the capital’s shipping industry – might have struggled for identity in the post-industrial era, but it has started to recover in recent years, aided by its strong transport links, relative affordability, quiet, family-friendly feel and selection of good or outstanding local schools.
Flats are most popular, selling for an average price of around £450,000-£500,000, mostly to young professionals eager for easy access to Canary Wharf, the City and the West End. The overall average price is just over £515,000, up by around 15% on 2015 as Surrey Quays’ burgeoning population has been met by increased demand.
The area will also directly benefit from the Canada Water Masterplan, while the London Overground extension – between Clapham Junction and Surrey Quays, which opened in December 2012 – has also helped to draw more commuters here.
Its quieter, more residential feel could be a key selling point, particularly for buyers looking to escape the hubbub of the city. Again, it’s important to utilise the regeneration of Canada Water, the proposed pedestrian and cycle bridge between Rotherhithe and Canary Wharf, and the area’s surprising amount of local green space to your advantage when selling a home.
Given the transport links on offer and the ‘away from the hustle and bustle’ vibe, demand for homes should continue to be high. You can use the keenness of buyers to be in their home before Christmas to give some impetus to your sale, too.
A welcome price boost
The regeneration of Rotherhithe – which encompasses Surrey Quays and Canada Water – is helping to make the area fashionable among homebuyers again. The Masterplan and the planned bridge are the two main pillars of its transformation, which could lead to a price boost of 30% between now and 2022, when the first phase of British Land’s scheme is set to complete.
It certainly feels like an exciting time for this part of south-east London, and that also means it’s a good time to be a seller. People want to move to areas with a buzz, and Canada Water, Surrey Quays and Rotherhithe currently have that. You should certainly feel confident of getting a good price for your home in the current market conditions, even allowing for Brexit uncertainty and other variables.
How much is your property likely to be worth?
If you’re selling now, or thinking of listing your home on the market soon, you’ll be keen to know how much it could be worth. To this end, we provide instant online valuations to give you an estimate of your property’s worth.
In the current market, it's absolutely imperative that your initial asking price is set at the right level. You'll need to work with a reputable local estate agent to ensure you avoid overvaluing, which could be detrimental to a future sale.
If you would rather discuss your options in greater detail, you can contact Living in London on 020 7231 0002.
The days are getting shorter, the nights are drawing in, the leaves are falling off the trees and the temperatures are starting to dip a bit – all of which means we’re leaving summer behind and entering autumn.
Which, as luck would have it, is arguably the best season in which to sell a home as the traditional post-summer boom in housing activity coincides with a desire from buyers to be in their new home before Christmas. It is typically a very busy period – as both buyers and sellers put their home moving plans into action – and here we take a closer look at why that is.
The holidays are over, the kids are back at school, and people want to arrange moves before the festivities begin. This all means activity ramps up in September, October and November. While summer is generally a quieter period for the property industry, this summer was particularly quiet thanks to the excellent weather, World Cup fever and ongoing uncertainty over Brexit negotiations.
The uncertainty over Brexit is still there – and may cause some people to think twice – but other variables are now in favour of stronger market activity.
Given the desire to be in their new home by Christmas, buyers may also be more eager to push through sales in a fast manner, which will be music to the ears of sellers who dread frustrating hold-ups or delays.
As a seller, you can improve your chances of selling by trying to hold viewings in the daytime (when you can shine the best light on your home), clearing your gutters, drains and driveway of leaves, keeping your home warm and toasty during viewings if the weather is cold outside, and decluttering your property so it doesn’t feel too personal or lived in.
Here at Living in London, we operate in one of the capital’s most exciting and up-and-coming areas. In Canada Water, for example, there is what is known as the Canada Water Masterplan, which aims to create a new urban centre for London in SE16.
The project, devised and led by property development and investment firm British Land, puts forward plans for the 53-acre regeneration of Canada Water. After four years of planning and consultation, the plans were finally submitted to Southwark Council in May.
The green light is expected to be given at some point this autumn. If the plans are approved, work could begin on the first detailed plots in spring 2019 (with a target completion date of 2022). The whole Masterplan, in turn, could be completed and fully functioning by 2033.
It would deliver up to 3,000 homes, in addition to retail, leisure, work, entertainment and community space, with the first three buildings set to be constructed on Surrey Quays shopping centre’s current overflow car parks between Deal Porters Way and Canada Water Dock, plus the empty site at Roberts Close.
The first phase would generate 270 homes as well as plans for 285,000 sq ft of workspace, a leisure centre, shops and places to eat and drink. Proposals for affordable social rented housing have also been included.
As well as bringing visitors, tenants and buyers to the area, existing residents of Canada Water will be given a major boost by the project as it becomes a nicer place to live, work and commute from. At present, it could be argued that Canada Water is mostly a commuter hub – a good base for people working elsewhere in the city. However, new leisure, work, entertainment and food/drinks spaces could help to change all that.
Those looking to sell should also be boosted by the plans, with greater media coverage of the area possibly leading to higher levels of interest from potential buyers.
In nearby Rotherhithe, meanwhile, there has been an update on the proposed Rotherhithe Bridge - a pedestrian and cycle bridge which would connect south east London to the docklands peninsular, making ‘sustainable transport a life changing option for thousands of commuters’.
The low lying bridge, downstream from Tower Bridge, will need to be designed so it can open to allow tall boats to pass.
Now, in response to the recent public consultation on the planned bridge, the team behind the initial proposals - reForm Architects and Elliot Wood Engineers – have relocated their design to its original 2013 northern position. The new location, along with a 20% reduction in the scale and 5m reduction in the height of the bridge, would bring ‘tangible public benefits and cost savings to the scheme’.
The update on their official website added: “We once again publicly offer our innovative bascule design for independent scrutiny as part of the ongoing process which TfL confirm will need to demonstrate that the best design and cost outcome has been achieved.”
The bridge, which has the support of the Mayor and TfL, would be the first bridge built in central London to the east of Tower Bridge. But it has proved controversial, with a high-profile and heavily scrutinised battle over the design of the Rotherhithe-to-Canary Wharf crossing.
Consultancy giant Atkins was appointed by TfL in March to provide engineering and architectural support to the project, but reForm Architects is no longer being considered for the design support contract after another design consultancy, Arcadis, allegedly advised against the bascule-type bridge design. It’s still unclear who will actually be responsible for the eventual design of the bridge, but a planning application could be made in 2019 and Sadiq Khan said in the summer of 2017 that he’d like to start construction as soon as possible.
Autumn, then, has so far been busy in terms of developments to the areas we operate in, but as we outlined above it’s also a good time to sell a home – with demand likely to be high as plenty of buyers enter the market seeking a home before the turkey needs carving.
Do you know how much your property is worth?
The market in 2018 has been an interesting one so far, but how has the performance of London's property sector affected the price of your home and how much you could be selling it for? If you would like an 'instant valuation' to get a better idea of what your property is worth for sales or rental, please click here. Or if you would prefer to discuss your options in more depth, please feel free to contact Living in London on 020 7231 0002.
We’re thrilled to announce that for the second year in a row, we’ve been voted the Best Estate Agent in SE16 in the allAgents Customer Experience awards.
Based entirely on honest feedback from genuine clients, the allAgents awards are renowned for rewarding estate agents for putting the customer first and going the extra mile to deliver excellent service.
At Living in London, we strive to exceed the expectations of all our clients, whether they’re selling, buying, letting or renting a property with us. It’s an honour to take the Gold award for best estate agent two years in a row and we’re thankful that allAgents gives us recognition for the time and care we provide each client.
We'd like to thank the clients who took the time to leave us such great feedback. We hope to make it a hat-rick next year!
You can see our awards here:
Best Estate Agent in SE16 2016
Headed up by Directors and brothers, Adam and Ben Miller, Marine Wharf will be an office dedicated to delivering the best customer service, housing our property managers, administrators and marketing team. The sister office in Canada Water will continue to operate as the face of sales and lettings, covering Canada Water and the surrounding areas of Surrey Quays, Bermondsey and Rotherhithe.
“We’re delighted to have opened our new office in Marine Wharf,” exclaims Ben Miller, Director at Living in London. “Despite Brexit, business is doing better than ever and we’re in a strong position to take on more staff and continue to grow.”
Renowned for our excellent customer service and being ‘more than an estate agent’, Living in London, Marine Wharf offers a stylish interior, including a state-of-the-art board room which boasts our striking logo, contemporary fully functioning kitchen, coloured LED lighting, and even a shower room.
“It’s very important to us that this not only be a fantastic place to work, but one we’d be proud to bring clients,” explained Adam Miller, Director at Living in London. “A lot of thought went into the layout and branding of the office and I think it truly delivers on every level. We’re excited to offer our vendors, buyers, landlords and tenants a customer service hub, where all their needs can be met under one roof.”
Marine Wharf offers services including sales, lettings, property management, and free market appraisals, all of which will all be promoted across Living in London’s website, social media channels and other marketing efforts. Adam, Ben and the team look forward to meeting local residents and encourage those looking to move to pop into the office to meet the team, but also find out how we can market your property or assist with finding your dream home.
Living in London Marine Wharf can be found at: Unit E/F Cadmus Court, Seafarer Way, SE16 7DW, 020 7231 0002.