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Supply and Demand Imbalance for Family Houses in Central London
Winkworth, an upmarket estate agency since 1835 advises that the shortage of family homes in Central London lead to an increased gap between the prices of houses and flats. Winkworth reputation for expert knowledge and professional service maintained its upmarket clientele and created a unique network of independently owned and operated offices in strategic territories. The offices became established around prime London village locations and enabled Winkworth to match buyers with sellers across the capital. With the dynamic growth of London Winkworth’s insight has proven astute. The buyer has become more flexible when choosing which area of London he wishes to live so it has proven vital that offices can intercommunicate with each other to ensure that the buyers can search the whole of London for their ideal property.
Property prices have constantly gone up, but it seems that for London the house prices have risen more in value than the flat prices. The main reason is that there are a lot of people out chasing a limited supply of stock in London's most prestigious postcodes while the supply levels are currently less than half. Experts are saying that there is a demand and supply imbalance which will lead to further price rises later this.
The statistics from Winkworth's W11 branch support this theory as the activity on the market is "phenomenal” with cases of sales being agreed, often above asking price, within days of being marketed. The office revealed that according to their figures, flats prices have risen by around 15 per cent this year (for a typical one bedroom example) while house prices have risen by close to 25 per cent.
Alex Thompson, of Winkworth Notting Hill, explained that: "Demand continues to dwarf supply, particularly in the family house market where confidence is highest. With buyers now prepared to exchange within 24 hours, an increasing disparity has emerged between house prices and flat prices."
An explanation on why the supply of family houses is so low in Central London is given by Josh Grinling, franchisee of Winkworth Kensington: "A family house is often for life in W8. As such they do not get bought and sold so frequently. House owners tend to sit tight on their biggest asset. A good four-bedroom house is now worth between Ł1,500,000 and Ł2,500,000. By contrast, flats are more commonplace as they are a stepping stone for people ascending the ladder and come to the market more frequently."
Another reason for the decrease in family home supply is that developers tend to replace houses with new developments of flats. “The large, period houses are making way for developments of one-to-three bedroom flats because these developments make intensive use of the available space. So not only is there a drying up of the housing stock, there is also a simultaneous increase in the supply of affordable flats. This tends to stabilise flat prices.”, explains Stuart Kershaw, franchisee of Winkworth Hendon.
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