Prime central London is bouncing back, with demand more than 30 per cent ahead of 2019 and houses in Notting Hill receiving offers of £1m more than pre-pandemic prices and even selling before they reach the market, according to leading estate agents Winkworth.
The recovery in the capital’s smartest neighbourhoods is highlighted in the latest episode of The Property Exchange, Winkworth’s podcast, presented by broadcaster and commentator Anne Ashworth. She discusses prime central London’s revival with Dominic Agace, Chief Executive of Winkworth, and Charles Erwin, who heads up Winkworth’s Notting Hill office. Winkworth has more than 100 offices nationwide, with 60 across London.
Dominic Agace says: “Demand is 31 per cent ahead of July 2019, and sales are already 8 per cent ahead, compared to June and July 2019, with a 20 per cent increase in rental demand in June and July, bouncing back from being 27 per cent down. This is domestic demand, which includes international clients based in London. People are desperate to return and get on with their lives and we should see the positive impact, as travel becomes easier. The pandemic has supercharged the desire for green space, with areas like Notting Hill top of the list. For investors, there is an opportunity in certain areas of prime central London to buy flats at the lower prices and rent them out to international students who are beginning to return to the capital and universities. With prices 20 per cent off 2014 levels, it is a good time to invest and see the benefits as the market moves up.”
The stucco terraces, garden squares and leafy streets of Notting Hill have become top of buyers’ wish lists for those who want to live in prime central London. Charles Erwin, head of Winkworth Notting Hill, reveals they are seeing offers £1m higher than before the pandemic from people keen to join the “Notting Hillbillies” set.
Charles says: “Purchasers buy to live here. The dream home is a full house in Elgin, Blenheim or Lansdowne Crescents, with their communal garden squares where children can play out with their friends. There is always a demand for flats, although one bed flats have taken a bit of a dive since the pandemic but prices in Notting Hill range from £350,000 to £20m so we have a wide range of buyers. Hillbillies will go for less space to stay in the area, rather than move elsewhere.”
He added: “The outlook is looking good for the autumn and next year. Houses are selling before they reach the open market, such is the demand.”