London, United Kingdom (23rd March, 2012) –Winkworth, one of the leading estate agents specialising in properties located in London, comments on recent research which shows that the private rented sector is growing once again.
The leading estate agent believes the rising affordability pressures of owning a home is a key factor in this recent shift. Other contributing factors are the implementation of stricter lending criteria following the credit crunch and the impact of the huge imbalance in supply and demand, especially in central London.
Winkworth has found that both the supply of new and second hand property is falling, particularly in Prime Central London. Private completions have fallen by 23% in the last four years in London, with Kensington and Chelsea contributing just 0.1% of this supply on average.
Over the same period, owner-occupiers have also been moving less frequently, resulting in reduced availability of second-hand stock for sale. In 2009/10, almost half (49%) of homeowners had been in their homes for 10 years or more. 68% had been living in their homes for at least 5 years, according to data from the Survey of English Housing.
Central London’s housing market is less affected by the troubled mortgage market and is also popular with international buyers, Winkworth has found. Although the level of economic migrants has fallen, there is still a considerable quantity of wealth being generated in emerging economies that are looking to invest in Prime Central London accommodation. These investors are attracted by its perceived ‘safe haven’ status, long term performance and the political stability of the UK.
While prime residential property in central London is an attractive long term investment choice for many, Winkworth has found that significant price growth has dramatically reduced what you can get for your money over the past 25 years.
A spokesperson for Winkworth commented: “Looking at average £/sqft values over time in the market catchment of the Winkworth offices, we have calculated exactly how much space £1m could have purchased over the past 25 years.
“In 1987, £1m would have purchased approximately 4,300 square feet of residential property space in central London. By 1999, it would have bought just over 2,100 square feet and by 2011, the same amount of money would have bought just 830 square feet, or a small two bed flat.
“These findings point towards the likelihood that renting is set to become more popular than owning a property throughout 2012, and potentially also during 2013.”
For more information on Winkworth’s services, please visit http://www.winkworth.co.uk or call 0207 355 0220.
Winkworth is a leading franchisor of residential real estate agencies and is admitted to trading on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange. Established in Mayfair in 1835, Winkworth has a pre-eminent position in the mid to upper segments of the central London residential sales and lettings markets. Winkworth has in excess of 90 offices, with 58 in London alone. The franchise model allows entrepreneurial real estate professionals to provide the highest standards of service under the banner of a well-respected brand name and to benefit from the support and promotion that Winkworth offers. Franchisees deliver in depth local knowledge and a highly personalised service to their clients.
For further information please visit www.winkworthplc.com or www.winkworth.co.uk.
Tel: 020 7355 0220