The summer has just highlighted how different 2009 is to previous years.
Savills sales departments in the Docklands, after a slow start to the year, has seen a strong pick up in demand resulting in lower stock levels in the month of August which in any other year would normally be a quiet month for new sales enquiries, yet buyers are still registering with serious intent to make acquisitions. Clearly a significant number of people have substantial savings, access to finance and believe that the market will not be more favourable in the short term.
Furthermore with the Pound strengthening appreciably lately many foreign buyers are likely to make the purchases they may have put off until now, as even if there are prospective future drops in sale prices any gains will be mitigated by the sudden rises in sterling.
The overall picture in the Docklands is one of a firming up of prices under pinned by low interest rates meaning there are not significant numbers of distressed sellers and by a more restricted supply. Accordingly, there is a quid pro quo for both buyers and sellers, purchasers are still buying at attractive levels and vendors do not necessarily have to sell at rock bottom prices
The Docklands is also well and truly in to Lettings high season and significantly year on year the numbers of transactions are comparable despite many tenants renegotiating rents and staying where they are and similar to the sales market there are lower stock levels than seasonally expected for the time of year. On balance it is still a good time to be looking to rent however it does not pay to prevaricate too long if you think you’ve found a suitable property as the more limited supply means that some one else may snap up that apartment that you thought you could take your time on.
In general most Landlords are now up to speed with the ‘reality’ of the current market and they are willing to make reasonable efforts to secure tenants whilst not acceding to demands that are too financially onerous to make a let worthwhile. The types of tenants registering continue to be more diverse than in previous years with a decrease in rental prices opening the market to a more diverse demographic than merely the banking and finance sector.
Stephan Mouzouri in the Savills Docklands Lettings Department observes that ‘far from being a dire year for the Docklands by dint of being are at the sharp end of job losses in the financial sector with fewer tenants and also fewer buyers due to a lack of confidence in the sales market, actually, whilst it has been tough trading the figures so far suggest a better outcome than one would have first thought back in January’.
Stephan Mouzouri of Savills