Sunday 30 July 2023

Quarter of Young Tenants in South London Admit to Subletting

A new survey has found that a quarter of young tenants in South London admit to subletting their rented properties. The survey, conducted by Direct Line, found that the most common reason for subletting was to offset the cost of rent. Other reasons included wanting to make some extra money, having friends or family stay over, or needing to move out temporarily.

The survey also found that young tenants are more likely to sublet than older tenants. This is likely due to the fact that young people are more likely to be living in rented accommodation and are therefore more likely to be struggling to afford the rent.

Subletting is a risky practice, as it can lead to eviction, fines, and even legal action. Landlords have the right to evict tenants who sublet without their permission, and they can also sue tenants for any damages that are caused by the subletting. It is after all, a breach of the tenancy agreement. Despite the risks, the survey found that many young tenants are still willing to sublet their rented properties. This is likely due to the fact that subletting can be a way to make some extra money or to have more flexibility in their living arrangements.

If you are a young tenant in South London and you are considering subletting your rented property, you should carefully consider the risks involved. You should also make sure that you have the permission of your landlord before you sublet.

What does this mean for landlords? Well, some operate a "hear no evil, see no evil" policy, as long as the rent gets paid it's fine. But what if your tenant is subletting the whole property on a holiday let platform like AirBnB? This puts your lease at risk of forfeiture (if the lease prohibits commercial letting, or stipulates it must be used as a residential dwelling) or your mortgage company might call in the loan. After all, the property is being used for a purpose other than what they were lending you the money for. So it does come with risks, and no rewards for the landlord. It may also cause a nuisance to the neighbours, who will be all too keen to highlight to the local authority that the property is being let on a nightly basis for more than the 90 days which are allowed in any one calendar year. Short term guests can be a noise nuisance, and of course long term residents feel safer when they know their neighbours as opposed to when they do not.

So what to do? Well, a blind eye can be turned to speeding, little white lies and so on... as long as nobody gets hurt. Ultimately though someone will get hurt - a neighbour upset due to noise, the local council with you for flouting the law - it will catch up to you. So make sure that you are aware what is going on in your property by doing regular inspections! If you'd like further advice on letting, short or long - drop me a line and let's talk.

Thursday 27 July 2023

Record-High Rents in South London!

The average rent for a whole property in Lambeth, Southwark and Wandsworth is now a whopping £1,980 per month, according to Property Portal Rightmove. This is up 11% from the same time last year. The average rent varies depending on the borough, with Lambeth being the most expensive, at £2,285 per month. Wandsworth is the second most expensive, at £2,187 per month, and Southwark is the least expensive, at £1,980 per month. Some inflation-busting figures in my table below - how does your property's rent compare to this time last year?

With rents as high as they are in South London, landlords have a great opportunity to maximise their profits. Here are some tips on how to do just that:

  • Choose the right property. The location of your property is one of the most important factors in determining how much rent you can charge. Proximity to tube, having storage for bicycles and plenty of parking nearby are all desirable.
  • Make sure your property is in good condition. Tenants are more likely to pay higher rent for a property that is clean, well-maintained and has all the amenities they need. If there are any outstanding maintenance jobs then get them done before showing tenants around and offer everything in tip top condition for viewing.
  • If you have a good property in a desirable area, you should be able to command a higher rent. 
  • Consider investing in energy-efficient upgrades to your property, as this can help you attract tenants who are looking to save money on their energy bills. Grants may be available.
  • If you have a long-term tenant who is a good payer, consider the pros and cons of reletting the property to a new tenant. Often times a meet in the middle between market rent and the cost of remarketing will help the tenant stay longer and avoid the costs of finding a new tenant.
If you are looking for a market appraisal to see what your property is worth in today's market then look no further. Check out my online valuation tool or drop me a line and I'd be happy to come and visit.

Wednesday 26 July 2023

South London Developers Not Yet Affected by Soaring Interest Rates

Well here's a surprise! Despite the recent surge in base rates, the cost of development finance has remained relatively stable. According to new analysis by Sirius Property Finance, the average interest rate on development finance loans has only increased by 0.1% since the beginning of the year.

Whyever not?

There are a few reasons why development finance costs have not been impacted by rising base rates. First, many development finance lenders are not directly linked to the Bank of England base rate. Instead, they use a variety of factors to set their interest rates, such as the risk profile of the borrower and the current market conditions.

Second, development finance loans are typically short-term loans, with terms of between one and five years. This means that the impact of rising base rates is spread out over a shorter period of time.

Finally, the demand for development finance remains strong, which is helping to keep interest rates down. With the UK housing market still growing, there is a lot of appetite for development finance from investors and developers.

However, it is important to note that the situation could change in the future. If base rates continue to rise, it is possible that development finance costs will start to increase. However, for now, the market remains relatively stable.

Good news for buyers?

Well, yes, in a nutshell adding a little bit of profitability to the game will encourage developers to take offers as they can afford to, but above all it will introduce more developers to the market who have been put off by the soaring costs of materials and labour. At least finance is not a hurdle (yet). This may see greater good quality units in the supply of available first time buyer properties in South London.


The level of demand for development finance. If demand falls, it could lead to lower interest rates.

Funding is a factor: if there is less funding available for development finance, it could lead to higher interest rates. The risk profile of the borrower. If the borrower's risk profile increases, it could lead to higher interest rates.

Overall, the cost of development finance is likely to remain stable in the near future. However, there are a number of factors that could impact the market in the future. Watch this space...

If you're curious about the value of your property in South London check out my free online valuation tool to get a ballpark figure, or drop me a line and invite me over for a more accurate picture.

Tuesday 25 July 2023

No Discounts (YET) for South London Property Buyers

It will come as no surprise to you by now that properties are taking longer to sell then ever. Well, since June 2013 to be precise. This as buyer caution continues to weigh on the market. According to the latest data from Hamptons, properties are taking an average of 59 days to sell in June 2023, up from 55 days in May. This is the longest time it has taken to sell a property in June since 2013.

The slowdown in the market is being driven by a number of factors, including rising interest rates, inflation, and the ongoing uncertainty caused by the war in Ukraine. However, despite the slowdown, there is no evidence of large price discounts yet. In fact, the average asking price for a property in England and Wales actually increased by 0.2% in June, according to Hamptons. This follows what my sentiment has been for the last 20 years, that South London Property owners are stubborn when it comes to reductions. Despite reducing the price in line with the market to make their move happen will see an equal percentage (but greater £££) discount when they buy their way up the housing ladder, they often refuse, having a line in the sand they will not cross.

The data confirms sellers are reluctant to drop their prices, even in the face of weaker demand. However, it is possible that we may see more price discounting in the coming months, as the market continues to cool. The supply of properties on the market is increasing, which is putting further downward pressure on prices. The rental market is also starting to show signs of weakness, with rents falling in some parts of the country. Not in London though! And the best of the summer market is yet to come.

It is still too early to say whether the housing market is in a bubble, but the recent slowdown is a sign that the market is starting to cool. Overall, the housing market is facing a number of headwinds, but it is too early to say whether this will lead to a significant decline in prices. However, it is clear that the market is starting to change, and sellers may need to be more realistic about their asking prices in the coming months, starting NOW unless they want to be on the market for a long period of time.

What's your property worth? Use my free online valuation tool to get a  figure! Better yet if you're after an in-person visit from a sales and lettings specialist drop me a line.

Monday 24 July 2023

Government (might??) Relax EPC Standards for Rental Properties in South London

Eureka! The green tidal wave has been slowed down. Housing Minister Michael Gove has said that the government "should be relaxing the pace" of EPC reforms for rental properties in South London. This means that landlords in the area may have until 2030 to bring their properties up to the new minimum energy efficiency standard of C. The whispers of relaxing the standards were heard following concerns from landlords about the financial impact of the reforms, and the timescale to implement them. Many landlords felt that they would not be able to afford to make the necessary improvements to their properties, and that this would lead to a shortage of rental accommodation in the area. Well, this and of course the constant persecution of landlords in the media, excessive taxation, the general lack of any profits for investors and so on...

In other good news, the government has said that it will provide financial support to landlords to help them meet the new standards. This support will include grants and loans, as well as - hang on to your seat - tax breaks. In a Sunday Telegraph interview following the Uxbridge by-election, Housing Minister Gove gave strong hints that the timetable would change. The paper says: “Mr Gove admitted that in his own department the government was ‘asking too much too quickly’ of landlords, who will be banned from renting out their homes unless they pay for green measures such as insulation and heat pumps to meet a new minimum energy efficiency threshold by 2028.”

The relaxation of the EPC standards would be a welcome move for landlords in South London. It will give them more time to make the necessary improvements to their properties, and it will help to ensure that there is a continued supply of rental accommodation in the area.

What does this mean for landlords in South London?

If you are a landlord in South London, you may potentially have until 2030 to bring your properties up to the new minimum energy efficiency standard of C. Currently it must be a C if you are entering into a new tenancy Band C from 31 December 2025 or existing tenancies from 31 December 2028 (where this is practical and cost-effective). Potentially this kicks the can a little bit further down the road and you will be able to access financial support from the government to help you achieve a better energy performance rating.

The relaxation of the EPC standards is a positive development for landlords, as it will help to reduce the (immediate impact of) the financial burden of the reforms. However, it is important to remember that you will still need to meet the new standards eventually, so you should start planning your improvements now.

What are the benefits of improving the EPC rating of your rental property?

There are a number of benefits to improving the EPC rating of your rental property. These include:

  • Reduced energy bills for your tenants (poor tenants, yes they have it so bad - you should definitely spend four-figure sums of money so they can save £20 a month on their fuel bill, this makes perfect sense!
  • Increased property value - because, ironically, less energy efficient homes will be in lesser demand.
  • Increased rental demand - ironically before the pandemic and energy costs were "normal" I had never once had anyone ask me about the energy rating. Now it's asked before the distance to the tube!

If you are considering improving the EPC rating of your rental property, there are a number of things you can do. These include:

  • Installing insulation
  • Replacing windows and doors
  • Upgrading your heating and hot water system
  • Switching to more energy-efficient appliances
  • You can also help to reduce carbon emissions and contribute to a cleaner environment.

If you have any questions about EPC standards for rental properties in South London, feel free to drop me a line. 

Friday 21 July 2023

Rental Market in South London Isn't Working for Anyone!

The lettings market in South London is in a state of flux. Rents are rising, but demand is through the roof. This is putting a strain on landlords and tenants alike.

Rents are rising

Rents in South London have been rising steadily for the past few years. In the past year alone, rents have increased by an average of 20%. This is putting a strain on tenants, who are struggling to afford the rising cost of living.

Supply is falling

As you'll know from my other posts the number of landlords selling up is on the rise - build to rent schemes are popping up a little more frequently but gone are the days where you could rent an affordable victorian property from someone who had a flat as a simple buy to let investment... Landlords are struggling because of onerous legislation and higher interest rates, they are exiting!

Tenants are suffering

The rising rents and falling demand are also making it harder for tenants to find affordable homes. Many tenants are being forced to move out of South London, or to share with more people. This is making it harder for tenants to find a home that meets their needs.

What can be done?

There are a few things that can be done to improve the lettings market in South London. These include:

  • Building more affordable homes: The government needs to build more affordable homes to meet the needs of tenants. This will help to reduce the pressure on rents and make it easier for tenants to find affordable homes.
  • Reforming the lettings sector: The government needs to reform the lettings sector to make it fairer for both landlords and tenants. This could include measures such as introducing a national landlord register and giving tenants more rights.
  • Educating tenants: Tenants need to be better educated about their rights and responsibilities. This will help them to negotiate better deals with landlords and to protect themselves from unscrupulous landlords.

The lettings market in South London is in a difficult situation. Where does this leave you? If you are curious as to what your rental property is worth today why not drop me a line and pick my brains or use my free online valuation tool to get a ballpark figure!

Thursday 20 July 2023

Shocking Drop of South London Landlords!

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has released its latest UK Residential Market Survey, which shows a sharp decline in landlord instructions. The net balance for landlord instructions dropped 36% in June 2023, down from 5% in May. This is the largest monthly decline since the survey began in 2008.

The decline in landlord instructions is being attributed to a number of factors, including the rising cost of living, the Bank of England's decision to raise interest rates, and the uncertainty caused by the war in Ukraine. These factors are making it more difficult for landlords to cover their costs, and are leading some landlords to sell their properties or take them off the market.

The decline in landlord instructions is having a knock-on effect on the rental market. The net balance for rental demand increased to 40% in June, up from 35% in May. This suggests that there is still strong demand for rental properties, but that there is a shortage of available properties. This is likely to lead to an increase in rental prices in the coming months.

The RICS survey also found that the sales market is continuing to slow down. The net balance for new buyer enquiries slipped to -45% in June, down from -20% in May. This is the lowest reading recorded since October 2022. The decline in buyer enquiries is being attributed to the same factors that are driving down landlord instructions.

Overall, the RICS survey suggests that the South London housing market is starting to cool. This is likely to be a gradual process, but it is something that buyers and sellers should be aware of.

Here are some additional thoughts on how the RICS survey relates to the South London market:

  • The South London market is particularly sensitive to changes in the wider economy. This is because South London is a popular area for investors, and any changes in the investment climate can have a knock-on effect on the housing market.
  • The South London market is also a relatively expensive market. This means that any changes in the cost of living or interest rates can have a more significant impact on the market than in other areas.
  • Overall, the RICS survey suggests that the South London housing market is starting to cool. This is likely to be a gradual process, but it is something that buyers and sellers should be aware of.
We've seen evidence of this, as you will know from other articles I've posted. So what to do?

Just remember that if you are a homeowner then upsizing means that NOW is a good to sell - homes larger than yours will command a bigger discount if you have a motivated seller because they will struggle to sell (their pool of buyers is smaller still). You can therefore negotiate a better price. Price in a bit of a drop. If you are moving out of London the same may apply. What happens in zone 1 happens later in zone 2 and so on - the ripple effect. Nonetheless remember that you are looking to move for reasons other than to secure the best price possible, you need to weigh up hassle factor, job location, schools and a host of other things of course. It is impossible to time the market to sell yours at the very peak of its price and buy at the very trough of another property's value at the same time!

If you are curious as to what yours is worth pop your details in my online valuation tool or invite me around for a visit and let's get you moving!

Wednesday 19 July 2023

Slow Conveyancers Are Putting South London Property Owners at Risk

The conveyancing process is already slow and frustrating, but it's even worse in South London. A recent study by Dutton Gregory found that the average time it takes to complete a conveyancing transaction in South London is 10 weeks. This is significantly longer than the national average of 8 weeks. In my experience a sale takes 100 days to get from under offer to exchange, which is actually 14 weeks!

The long conveyancing process is putting South London property owners at risk. If you're selling your home, you could be waiting months to get the sale through. This could mean that you sit where you are, in uncertainty (or in a temporary property) for longer, or even lose the sale altogether! If you're buying a home in South London, you could be facing the same problems. You could be waiting months to move into your new home, and you could be at risk of financial burden (and others if you have given notice at your rental place) if the sale falls through.

The slow conveyancing process is a major problem for South London property owners. It's time for the government to take action to speed up the process and protect property owners. What can you do to protect yourself? There are a few things you can do to protect yourself from the slow conveyancing process: Choose a reputable conveyancing solicitor. A good solicitor will be able to keep you informed of the progress of the sale and help to speed up the process. Is the delay on your side or the buyer's side? Are they raising silly enquiries? And always be mindful that you have the right to pull our of the sale if the conveyancing process is taking too long.

If you want to know more about getting a sale through successfully just drop me a line! Curious about rental or sales value? Try my online valuation tool here.

Tuesday 18 July 2023

Property Sales in South London Are Struggling - Here's Why!


Property sales have continued to fall since the Bank of England began raising the base rate, declining at an average rate of -3.4% per month across Britain since December 2021, according to analysis. The South London property market is following the national trend, with sales falling and prices starting to level off. According to Rightmove, the average house price in South London is £752,624, which is up 2% on the previous year but down 0.3% on the month. The number of properties sold in South London fell by 11% in May 2023 compared to May 2022.

South London Slowing Down?

There are a number of factors that are contributing to the slowdown in the South London property market. These include: 

  • The rising cost of living, which is making it more difficult for people to afford a mortgage.
  • The Bank of England's decision to raise interest rates, which is making it more expensive to borrow money.
  • The uncertainty caused by the war in Ukraine, which is making some people hesitant to buy a property.
  • Despite the slowdown, the South London property market remains relatively strong. There is still a shortage of properties on the market, and demand is still outstripping supply. This means that prices are likely to remain relatively stable in the coming months.

I did some digging and here are the trends month-on-month for properties in South London in terms of time on market:

April 2023: 13 weeks

May 2023: 14 weeks

June 2023: 15 weeks

July 2023: 16 weeks

So what can you do to beat the competition and get your home sold QUICKER!

  • Use an agent employing the latest trends in terms of presentation to get the most eyeballs on your property. Video, floor plans, music, long and short form content
  • Stage it well - declutter and take your agent's advice on what to put in storage and how to present your home for maximum impact.
  • Launch - all the marketing hoo-ha should be done IMMEDIATELY to create the buzz and get as many buyers through the door in the first 48hrs as possible. This is when you can create a bidding frenzy as buyer FOMO can set in!
  • By all means Price it correctly. Don't price too high thinking you can take an offer, you want to price LOW to get the people in through the door. People like a bargain, when they see value and they fear missing out they'll offer what they think it's worth. And remember, your property is determined by what a ready, willing and able buyer is ready to pay, not what you think it's worth!

So if you are in the market... drop me a line and let's talk!

Monday 17 July 2023

Is Your Front Door Colour Putting Off South London Property Buyers?


You'd think it's an odd thing, that the colour of your front door will impact the overall price of your home, but... Property firm Nested commissioned a survey of 1,000 UK homebuyers and found that 94% admit that the colour of a front door has an impact on the overall appeal of a home’s external aesthetic.

What’s more, half of buyers said that door colour has some influence in their decision to either buy a home or look elsewhere.The plot thickens!


No surprise but grey is boring, and safe! 18% argued that it was their colour of choice. Other popular choices were black (18%), blue (16%), green (16%), and white (11%). The least popular door colour is brown (3%). Apparently an aesthetically appealing home commands a premium, with 41% of buyers admitting to paying more for a property that looked good. Alice Bullard, Managing Director at Nested, commented: “It’s strange to think that something so simple as the colour of a front door could sway someone’s decision to buy a home and the reality is that the door itself can be easily changed, but it’s the overall first impression it adds to that is of the utmost importance when looking to attract a buyer."

Buyers are in control

Especially in a market such as today's where buyers are stretched for affordability and they want "ready to move in to" properties having all the boxes ticked is a definite yes-yes as opposed to no-no, so if you're looking to sell then painting the front door is the least you should be prepared to do!

If you are looking to maximise the value of your home in today's market then stay tuned for more advice coming your way, from decluttering to staging the property for maximum results, I'll cover all these topics in the coming few weeks.

Personally I'm not sure that colour itself is off-putting, it can certainly be a statement and if done correctly with complimenting colours any colour could work, as long as it's fresh! In summary I do think correlation, not causation! If you're looking for a quick online valuation then check out my online valuation tool or drop me a line and have me over for an in-person valuation if you're looking to sell or let.

Friday 14 July 2023

Worried about First Time Buyers in South London

 In a shocking news: a survey from The Mortgage Lender has revealed that nearly a quarter (24%!!!) of First Time Buyers did not know that they would have to pay stamp duty when buying a home!

I mean can you Adam and Eve it? You are about to undergo arguably the biggest, most important purchase of your life and you haven't researched it to the nines? Other things that buyers revealed they didn’t factor into their budget when buying their first home include solicitor’s fees, valuation fees, surveyor’s fees, and the cost of a homebuyer survey.

Have a look at the table below and see how uneducated the average first time buyer is today...

You would think in this day and age of technology and information these sorts of things could be practically absorbed via osmosis, but sadly it's clearly too much information for the average first time buyer to handle. Thankfully I have not had to speak to any first time buyers in the last years who were unaware of these. Service charges are at the top of buyers' agendas these days, with leasehold charges spiralling onwards and upwards having a reasonable service charge for a reasonable level of service is of key concern to many buyers as affordability levels are currently stretched.

So what are the agents doing to educate? Thankfully there are good agents out there that insist that buyers look at mortgages and assess affordability before viewing in order to prevent wasted efforts, time and above all heartbreak when they find their dream property is out of reach. In my experience this journey (the affordability journey) ensures there's enough money to pay for the one-off fees as well as ongoing fees and maintenance.

Crisis averted! You would think....

Thursday 13 July 2023

Why Pick Only ONE Agent to Sell Your Property In South London? (VIDEO)

Why you should only pick 1 agent 

So you are keen to sell and you think "right, I'll just pick 3 agents, triple my exposure to the market and get my property sold quicker.

Bad thinking. Here are my top 3 reasons why you should only pick ONE agent. Click here for the video!

 So if you're in the market for selling, or letting for that matter drop me a line and let's get you up and running to get you the best result. Just curious? Check out my instant valuation tool here!


Wednesday 12 July 2023

Rents at All-Time High in South London

It will come to nobody's surprise that recent data highlights that UK rents were up 15% in Q1 2023 compared to Q1 2022 with average monthly room rents at an eye-watering £683 - unsurprising therefore that tenants are struggling to find affordable housing. Alas the cost of inflation and high energy prices are working its magic on the rental prices at the moment.

I can tell you that from my research the average room rents reached a staggering £952 in Q1 2023, and not a single postcode in London has an average monthly room rent of under £700. South London average room rent stands at £681 as I type!

Here is what I found!

PostcodeLowest rentMean rentMedian rentMode rentHighest rent


Well, South London landlords have been selling up, plain and simple. 66 rental properties per day are being sold and occupied by homeowners, decreasing the supply of rental stock. This is leading to great profits for those that want to stay in the market and put up with the ever increasing amount of red tape, taxation and risk associated with letting their property. As I wrote about previously the proposed Renter's Reform Bill is doing nothing to aid the pro-landlord sentiment, that is for sure.

If you are on a low loan-to-value mortgage you will have built up enough equity to ride out the high interest wave and fix at a reasonable rate, but for those that entered the market less than 10 years ago they will find it touch to make a decent return off their investments. Many are not breaking even once repairs, letting fees, accountancy fees and so forth are factored in.

So is selling for you? Depends on your personal situation of course. Happy to have a conversation about what the market is doing. Reach out via email and let's start the conversation.

Tuesday 11 July 2023

Selling? Beware of This Common Mistake Made by South London Home Sellers

Changing times

The housing market in South London is changing. While sales volume has returned to pre-pandemic levels, lending is down significantly. This suggests that buyers are becoming more cautious and are relying on higher deposits to fund their purchases. Where is this money coming from? Well, bank of Mum and Dad of course. But as they remortgage their house to gift deposits or withdraw from pensions they are running out of funds! "It's a worrying time for the housing market, as rapidly rising mortgage rates mean fewer people can afford to buy for the first time or take the next step on the ladder." - Kimberley Gates, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Sirius Property Finance.


On the face of it this is good news for buyers, as it means that they have more bargaining power. Sellers are more at the mercy of buyers' affordability. However, it is also a warning to homeowners who are looking to sell their property. If you price your property too high, you may find that it sits on the market for months or even years. Well, surely you're sensible enough to realise if you haven't sold it within 3 months then something is wrong...

Sense over Cents (or pence)

So, how can you price your property sensibly? Here are a few tips:

  • Start by getting a valuation from a qualified real estate agent (like me). This will give you a good idea of what your property is worth in the current market. You can also use an online tool just to give you a rough guide as a start.
  • Be realistic about your expectations. The housing market is not what it was a few years ago. Buyers are more cautious and are relying on higher deposits. Are you selling a 1bed at 400k? with a 25% deposit the buyer would be borrowing £300k at 5.5% or thereabouts which is £1843 per month! That's excluding any moving costs and finance and legal fees... I'm sure you'll agree a 1bed doesn't cost £1843pcm to rent, and when they're renting Mr. Landlord pays for repairs. An intriguing proposition!
  • Be prepared to negotiate. If you price your property too high, you may have to negotiate with the buyer. Be prepared to compromise on the price or on other terms of the sale. be happy they've made an offer as getting people through the door is hard work when the price is too high.

On the valuation side be advised that an agent will be pricing your property through a buyer's eyes...

  • The location of your property is important. Properties in desirable areas will sell for more than properties in less desirable areas.
  • The size of your property is also important. Larger properties will sell for more than smaller properties.
  • The condition of your property is also important. Buyers will be more willing to pay a premium for a property that is in good condition, one that they don't have to do anything to.
  • The features of your property are also important. Period features such as coving, fireplaces, stained glass etc. Your agent will be photographing these for the lifestyle shots.

So in summary - price sensibly to get people through the door. A sealed bids situation is much better after an open day than tumbleweed and nobody turns up, and in my experiene the latter happens when you price too high. Free valuation here, have a look what AI tells you and then get a second opinion!

Monday 10 July 2023

Fall-Through Rates DOWN to 1 in 5 in South London!


Well I can't believe it, some good news! Having looked through some recent statistics I have found that there has been a fall in fall-through rates! Nationwide average has historically held at 1 in 3, we're now down to 1 in 5 (20%) of transactions falling through. This, together with sales volumes bouncing back spells great news for South London homeowners who are looking to sell (but perhaps not to upgrade locally)...

Ultimately if more transactions are successful first time around it will mean a smoother, less stressful experience for all those involved. So, if you are a homeowner in South London who is looking to sell your property, now is a good time to do so - there's a good chance of success.


With fewer sales falling through, homeowners can expect their properties to sell more quickly. This is especially important for homeowners who are relocating or who need to sell their property quickly for financial reasons, or to get their offspring in a school, a host of reasons of course. A transaction occurring in a timescale that you had anticipated as opposed to having to restart the process is of course better...


Better prices: I wouldn't necessarily say that better prices are being achieved. Current homeowners that are on the market are generally listening to their agent well. Interest rates are at an all time high (well, "all-time" being within the last 15 years). However I have noticed those that have been on the market for a while clearly went a bit "Mike Tyson" (punchy) on their asking price. Buyers are seeking value, not overvaluing. Properties that are presented well and offered with little to no work to do (move right in) are selling best.

Easy life

Less stress: The fall in fall-through rates and the return of house sales to pre-pandemic levels can also lead to less stress for homeowners. This is because there is less uncertainty about whether or not the sale will go through, and homeowners can be more confident that they will get a good price for their property. That being said ensure that you KEEP your buyer. Get your solicitor instructed pronto, papers out to the buyer's legal team quickly and answer any queries fully and promptly to ensure the slow grinding conveyancing cogs keep turning.

If you are a homeowner in South London who is looking to sell your property, why not drop me a line and see what your home is worth or check out my online valuation tool!

Friday 7 July 2023

Interest rate hikes could mean opportunity for South London Property Investors

Everyone is selling up - but should they?

The Bank of England's latest interest rate hike is likely to lead to more landlords selling their properties, but it could also create opportunities for investors. A survey by Finbri found that 45% of landlords would sell their investment properties if the base rate reached 5%. With the rate now at 5%, it's likely that even more landlords will exit the market. This could create a shortage of rental properties, which could drive up rents. This would benefit investors who are looking to buy properties to rent out. In addition, the number of properties available to rent has fallen by a third in the past 18 months. This means that there is already a high demand for rental properties, and the shortage is likely to make it even harder for renters to find a place to live.

This can can create opportunities for investors who are willing to do their research and take on some risk. Or keep taking on risk and hold on to their investments.

Property will remain profitable

Some property commentators predict that house prices will fall in 2023. However, even if this happens, property will still be a profitable investment. This is because property investors will still receive rent, and they may also be able to claim (some) tax breaks. In addition, the UK population is still growing rapidly. This means that there is a growing demand for rental properties, even if the supply of rental properties decreases.

The rental market

The rental market is expected to remain strong in 2023. This is because the supply of rental properties is still short of demand. In addition, the pandemic-induced tenant eviction bans have led to many landlords leaving the market. As a result, rental prices are expected to continue to rise in 2023. However, the rate of price growth will vary by region. London and the Southeast are expected to see the lowest growth, while the regions are expected to see the highest growth. But what other investments can a South London investor turn to? 2022 was a poor year for global stock markets. This was due to a combination of factors, including high inflation, the ongoing war in Ukraine, and poor global growth prospects. While some may argue that stock markets can give good returns over time, I believe that the risk of losing money is too high. In addition, stock markets do not provide physical assets such as property.

The key to a successful investment portfolio

The key to a successful investment portfolio is being well-informed and following a solid strategy. This includes understanding the risks involved in different types of investments and diversifying your portfolio to reduce your risk. It is also important to remember that investments can go down as well as up. Therefore, it is important to have a long-term investment horizon and not to panic sell if the market experiences a downturn.

If you are looking to exit the market, stay in the market, or expand in this market get in touch and let's talk investments. Not relet your property for a while? Why not check out my nifty online valuation tool to see what your property is worth at the moment?

Thursday 6 July 2023

The Tenant Reform Bill - Will It Be CHAOS for South London Landlords!?

In case you missed it

The government in its infinite wisdom to make life better for everyone (but somehow worse for good landlords like your good self) has proposed quite a number of things that would have the average landlord gasp and get dialling for that ambulance quicker than you can call a tenant who's late on a rent payment!

Here's what the brainiacs in power are wanting to lumber upon us, property owners of South London:

Section 21 bye bye

They are proposing the abolition of the favoured S21 notice. This means that unless the tenant cocks up magnificently you have to wait until they serve you notice. One month of course... So you are stuck with Section 8 notices, under which of course we know there are 17 grounds you have to ask a judge for your property back (remember only a few of these are mandatory, the vast majority are discretionary grounds - 10-17).

Periodic tenancies only here

So rather than an initial fixed term the tenants will be able to stay as short as they like effectively. This is a particular pain for those that dabble in the student market, who often insist on giving notice so they can bugger off for the summer. They don't realise that it will be a royal PAIN to find new accommodation in the summer months when they return at the height of the lettings market of course, leading them to overpay for something inferior, but like with anything these kids can't be told. They'll be able to give you a month notice and if you get notice in a bad month like november it's likely you'll have a void over Christmas. No more running 12 month fixed terms from August to August or September to September, you'll be at the tenant's mercy as to when they'd like to leave, unable to plan ahead. I can't see this being a win for anyone, who in their right mind wants to move in under a year? The associated costs with moving are rising (as well as landlords' costs such as inventories, deposit paperwork and so on) so long term lettings are in everyone's best interest.

Ombudsman for Landlords

Just like agents landlords will be required to join an ombudsman scheme. Honestly I think this is super zealous, bearing in mind in 2021 the OFT and Trading Standards received a total of 21,245 complaints about landlords. The total number of landlords in the UK in 2020-2021 was 2.74 million. This means that the percentage of landlords who received a complaint was 0.78%. And this supposedly requires ombudsman membership for all! I wonder how much that's going to cost us South London landlords???

Tar and Feather

In case I hadn't outraged you enough already, do indulge in the whole white paper here. The Renters (Reform) Bill is (thankfully) still currently in its draft form. It must still go through several readings in the House of Commons and House of Lords, where the contents will be discussed and potentially amended, before receiving royal assent and becoming law. This whole process is anticipated to take around a year, with the new legislation expected to come into force in early 2024. I eagerly await... I would also hope that any fundamental changes are permitted a period of transitional implementation once the legislation is passed. This would allow landlords and tenants time to adjust to the new rules and regulations. However seen the government's past performance on this front I wouldn't bank on it. Law not followed, landlord bad, landlord fined...

There is still some way to go before the final proposals become legislation. I will of course keep you informed of the latest and if you are in doubt then do reach out to me for a no-obligation chat. Meanwhile stay on the right side of the regulations to avoid fines or taxes. Well, avoid isn't possible so let's just call it minimising liabilities and limiting risk exposure, it's a minefield!

Had enough of letting? Let me do the hard work for you. Start by getting a valuation from my valuation tool online and see how the pennies stack up for you. If you'd like to have a conversation in person then by all means reach out and let's get talking

Wednesday 5 July 2023

Time to RUN for South London Landlords?



A new survey has found that only 1 in 10 landlords in Clapham are currently planning to expand their portfolios. The survey, which was conducted by the Deposit Protection Service, found that the majority of landlords who do intend to buy another investment property are looking to do so within the next two years. The survey's findings come as a surprise to some, as Clapham is a popular area for landlords due to its high rental yields. However, the survey's authors believe that the current economic climate is playing a role in landlords' decision-making.

"The economic pressures that are affecting most sectors will inevitably also influence the strategies of buy-to-let property owners too," said Matt Trevett, Managing Director at The DPS. "Although it's interesting to note that most landlords who intend to increase their portfolios are considering doing so over the next two years."

The survey also found that landlords in Clapham who are looking to buy another investment property are increasingly considering buying in different areas. This is likely due to the rising cost of property in Clapham, which has made it more difficult for landlords to find affordable investment properties in the area. "Financial pressures on landlords may mean they look further afield to buy property to suit their own budgets and to find the best rental yields," said Paul Fryers, Managing Director at Zephyr Homeloans. "Although our buy-to-let customers invest in properties all over the UK, we have seen particularly high activity recently across East Anglia, the North West, the South East as well as Yorkshire and the Humber."

The survey's findings suggest that Clapham landlords are hesitant to expand their portfolios in the current economic climate. However, the survey also found that many landlords are still looking to buy another investment property in the next two years. It remains to be seen whether the economic climate will improve enough to encourage more landlords in Clapham to expand their portfolios in the near future.

So is it the right time to sell? Or are you hanging tight and increasing rents as lettings supply dwindles? Either way check out my online valuation tool and see what your property is worth today, or drop me a line to chat further!

Tuesday 4 July 2023

Fall-Throughs Rife (55%) - What Does This Mean for Sellers in the South London Property Market?

Down but Up

The number of property transactions falling through in South London has decreased in the first quarter of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022. This is good news because figures from Quick Move Now have revealed that 55.8% of property sales in England and Wales collapsed before completion, as uncertainty continued to plague the property market. According to research by property purchasing specialist House Buyer Bureau, the total number of fall-throughs in South London decreased by 11% in Q1 2023, from 7,139 to 6,397. This is also 16% lower than the previous quarter, Q4 2022. Hurrah!

Wasted money

The average cost of a fall-through in South London increased by 2.1% in Q1 2023, from £3,320 to £3,370. The drop in the number of fall-throughs is likely due to a number of factors, including:
  • The cooling of the South London property market. The market has been slowing down since September last year, following the mini-budget.
  • The increase in interest rates. The Bank of England has raised interest rates five times since December 2021, making it more expensive for buyers to borrow money.
  • The ongoing cost of living crisis. Rising inflation is putting pressure on household budgets, making it more difficult for buyers to afford a deposit.
Despite the decrease in the number of fall-throughs, the average cost of a fall-through has increased. This is likely due to the rising cost of property in South London. Chris Hodgkinson, Managing Director of House Buyer Bureau, said: "The number of fall-throughs in South London has decreased in the first quarter of 2023, but the average cost of a fall-through has increased." This is likely due to a number of factors, including the cooling of the market, the increase in interest rates, and the ongoing cost of living crisis. While the total number of fall-throughs is down, buyers and sellers should remain aware of the risk of a sale collapsing. Buyers should make sure that they are financially prepared for a potential fall-through, and sellers should be realistic about their asking price. This is where an experienced property agent can help you manage expectations. If you are a seller in South London, it is important to do your research and make sure that you are working with a reputable estate agent who can help you to navigate the current market conditions.

The most common reasons for fall-throughs are:
  • The buyer's financial circumstances change and they can no longer afford the property.
  • The seller finds a better offer for their property.
  • There are problems with the property that were not disclosed to the buyer.
  • The buyer or seller cannot agree on the terms of the sale.
  • The risk of a fall-through is higher for certain types of properties, such as new builds (service charge surprises, cladding etc)
  • Sellers can protect themselves against the risk of a fall-through by being realistic about their asking price and by making sure that they disclose any known problems with the property.

But...Good news!

Thankfully the market remains strong, although slightly subdued. Sensibly priced a property will attract plenty of attention provided it is marketed in the right light of course. Having an agent with some experience to guide the (first time?) buyer as well as bank of mum and dad through the process will pay dividends. Nobody wants to start afresh I'm sure! What's your place worth? Check out my online valuation tool here, follow me on instagram for videos etc or drop me an email and get me around to value your property!

Monday 3 July 2023

Mortgage company offering BRIBES for energy efficient borrowers!

Bribes all Round!

Well not exactly a bribe, more like a financial incentive. Well that is a bribe. When a mortgage company does it they just call it cashback! Fleet Mortgages is offering landlord borrowers £1,000 cashback if they improve the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of their property to a C or above during the initial fixed-rate period. The cashback is available on Fleet's five- and seven-year fixed-rate products, excluding Green options, which complete from July 1.
To secure the cashback, advisers or the landlord borrower must inform Fleet if the EPC level of the property has been improved, and this must be documented on the property's EPC on the EPC register. Fleet Mortgages is the first specialist buy-to-let lender to offer such a cashback incentive. The lender believes that it will help to motivate landlords to make the necessary improvements to their properties, so they can contribute to a greener future and also get money back against the costs of completing those works. More importantly from a selfish point of view they of course want to safeguard their collateral - if the government pushes for better energy ratings and their security properties fall below that


Fleet Mortgages' chief commercial officer, Steve Cox, said: "We're absolutely committed to supporting the UK's transition to a more sustainable future, and to improving the energy efficiency of the country's private rental sector properties. This cashback feature is designed to help landlords make the necessary improvements to their properties, so they can contribute to a greener future for everyone, and also importantly get money back against the costs of completing those works."

Because they say so

The government is expected to mandate that all private rental properties must have an EPC rating of C or above by 2028. Fleet Mortgages' new product is a way for landlords to get ahead of the curve and improve the energy efficiency of their properties sooner rather than later. Draconian measure? Perhaps. But hey, green is good, right?

How eco-friendly is your property right now? Need more tips on future proofing? Check out my stock of tips on the DownToSouthLondon Youtube Channel!

If you are looking for a valuation on your property, then head on over here for a 60 second valuation of your property. Want a visit with more insight? Book a valuation by sending me an email!

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