Investing in London’s real estate market is one of the best decisions a person can make. However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
London is filled with all types of real estate, from luxury flats to modern commercial spaces, but figuring out which specific property is right for you can be quite the process. To ease you into the complexity of the London real estate market, founder and director of FJ Corporation Ltd., Binish Qureshi, provides her expertise about the different aspects to consider when you are looking to purchase a property in London.
Consider Up and Coming Neighbourhoods
This goes for both commercial and residential properties, shares London real estate developer Binish Qureshi. One aspect of London’s real estate market that many people find baffling is how the prices of properties in neighbourhoods that are geographically similar can be drastically different. This primarily comes down to the fact that one borough might be viewed as trendy and fashionable, while the other, not so much.
Although it can be tempting to buy into these popular areas, Qureshi warns against it. Instead, she suggests keeping an eye out for up and coming neighbourhoods. It may take a bit of time to scout out your options, but it’s typically a better investment to buy property in an area undergoing transformation versus an already established one.
For residential properties, buying in an up and coming neighbourhood provides greater potential for increased resale value. In contrast, for commercial properties, getting into a neighbourhood before it becomes the new place to be can help you save money and build a positive reputation in the area.
Remember that Time is of the Essence
According to Binish Qureshi, time is of the essence when it comes to purchasing a property in London. This isn’t meant to pressure prospective buyers; however, it is something they need to be aware of. London is one of the largest cities in the world, home to nearly nine million people. This means that available real estate in the city tends to sell quickly.
Once you’ve done your research and know exactly what you’re looking for, Qureshi advises making yourself as available as possible for viewings. If you’re able to see a property as soon as it comes on the market (ideally within 48 hours), you will have a leg up on the competition.
Even if you must visit at less than opportune times, fit it into you schedule or else you may miss out on a property you love. Additionally, a good safety measure is to preemptively have an agreement in place with a mortgage lender so that you are aware of your spending limits.
Do Your Price Research
Binish Qureshi warns prospective home buyers not to be fooled by the asking price. Often, real estate agents will price homes well above what they are worth. The key is to do your research and be aware of the average house prices in London at the current time.
It is recommended that you should do a quick search online to figure out what homes in the same neighbourhood have sold for in the past. The Land Registry is the best place to find this information and will give you a much better understanding of what a house should really be selling for.
Further, remember to check the Land Registry on a regular basis leading up to the purchasing of a home, as the real estate market, along with London housing prices, changes frequently.
Relating to price, buyers should not be afraid of haggling. Currently, London is a buyer’s market, and thus it’s quite common for asking prices to be well above what many people are willing to pay. If you decide you do want to make an offer on a property, do not feel any shame in negotiating.
In most cases, failing to negotiate will not only result in you paying more for the property, but also in making it more difficult for you to make money off it if you decide to resell the house in the future.