My First Property

Why Buying In London Is Different To Elsewhere

Buying in London is different to buying elsewhere in the country, first because there is often much higher demand for a given property when it comes on the market, and secondly of course because the prices can be so much higher than around the country.

Generally property prices in London seem to have kept on rising no matter what has happened elsewhere, and the disparity if anything seems to be getting wider to the increases elsewhere.

Meanwhile there are those who constantly say that the housing bubble in London is going to burst at some point, and there will have to be some sort of correction in prices. Therefore buying in London can seem to be riskier than elsewhere as if there is a sudden decrease in prices, then you could lose a lot of money quickly. Yet on the flip side, it can seem less risky, since prices have held up and increased so well it can seem that buying in London is a very safe investment with apparent almost guaranteed returns. As ever, a judgement call is required if you decide to invest in London property with regard to the potential upside and downside.

Particularly with so much money coming in from overseas to buy large houses - properties worth £2m or more (which in many parts of London is what you have to pay for something that can't necessarily be described as large!)

Many people who live and work in London, if they move away from the capital, often don't sell, but instead rent as they can get very attractive rental income: this also means that there is not a lot of property on the market as outside the capital people typically sell up when they move, creating a vacancy for someone else. And lack of supply and high demand again can seem to mean that prices can only go up.

If you do find a property that you like in London that is available for sale, not just for rent, then you will need to be prepared to act very quickly. Many people check the listings on the property websites or with London estate agents every few hours so they can instantly react to a property when it comes up and go and view it as quickly as possible, with a view to making a swift offer and getting it taken off the market if they like it.

Whilst the above might seem strange or baffling outside the capital, it is testament to the fact that buying in the capital is different to elsewhere, and with a stalling supply of properties, particularly in certain locations, when something does come up for sale, then you need to act quickly and get in before other people do.

Therefore if you are looking to buy in London, then you will need to be more proactive in your search than elsewhere: regularly checking out the listings, subscribing to updates as and when properties in your target postcode get added and then moving as quickly as you can to secure a viewing once something in your target area comes up. You might also need to be patient, depending on your requirements, because you don't want to fall into the trap of settling for something just because there is little supply of what you are looking for.

Last update: 12 May 2015

More first-time house buying articles:

  1. Can I Take Photos When Viewing Property?
  2. Finding a Bargain Property
  3. Why Buying in London is Different to Elsewhere
  4. Things to Note when Buying at Auction
  5. Decorating Your First Home


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