The extra 3% stamp duty surcharge for buy-to-let investors and purchasers of second homes came into effect in April this year. The first three months of the year saw a rush for buy-to-let properties, but figures fell in the months following April. However, the latest statistics show that buy-to-let investor activity is recovering, and the sector remains strong.
'Brexit', otherwise known as Word of the Year (Collins Dictionary), has caused a stir in the property market. Immediately before and after the Brexit vote, speculative vendors exercised caution in selling their properties, putting decisions on-hold until a clearer image emerged of what Brexit might mean. The sales market had slowed slightly prior to the EU referendum, and in the aftermath, we've noticed more activity in the lower end of the market, while activity in the higher end has slowed. Rents have dipped slightly on a local level, but demand for rental properties is still strong.
In the UK as a whole, house prices increased slightly in October, largely due to a shortage of supply. In contrast, prices in prime central London have fallen since the vote in June. Activity is down and house price growth has slowed, but low mortgaging costs and lack of supply will help to steady price levels.
The ongoing extension of the Northern Line from Kennington to Battersea (due to be completed by 2020) involves the building of two new stations. One will be at Nine Elms, which will benefit the Nine Elms regeneration project, while the other will be at the new Battersea Power Station redevelopment. The extension of the tube line will benefit Battersea hugely, adding the final piece of the jigsaw to the area's transport links to the City and West End as well as the rest of the Capital. These new Tube stops will encourage even more renters and property buyers to the area.
Battersea, with its thriving high street and green spaces, still offers good value when compared with other central areas, while the investment in Battersea and Nine Elms is changing the face of housing in the area. As a result, we see that buyers and renters alike still regard Battersea as an area with better potential than other parts of London.
In the last ten years or so, Brixton has completely reinvented itself. According to Zoopla, over those ten years purchase prices have increased by an average of 76%. Brixton Village in particular is thriving. With diverse culinary options, and successful restaurants, startups, small business enterprises and community groups all setting up camp in the area, Brixton is also a great place in which to live if you want to be only a short commute away from the West End and the rest of London. Brixton is connected by both a tube stop on the famously-fast Victoria Line and Overground. Brixton remains an area where prospects are good, especially off the back of the Battersea and Nine Elms development.
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