|Verdo Kew Bridge 'All That Matters' for Brentford Property|
Agents watching closely how huge development around stadium sells
Property prices in the TW8 postcode area rose by 24.4% in the second quarter of 2021 but local agents are cautioning that the low number of transactions and market distortions might mean this is not a true reflection of the current situation.
The average price of a sale reported to the Land Registry between April and June this year was £571,583 with just 30 transactions recorded so far for the three months. It is believed that there is a significant backlog at the Land Registry which means that a substantial number of transactions are not yet processed.
The most expensive property reported as sold during the second quarter was a terraced house in Tallow Road which went for £1,180,000 followed by a flat in Magistrates House in Market Place which changed hands for £1,150,000 which local estate agents believe is the top price paid for an apartment in Brentford which is not by the river.
Ben Madden of Brentford based estate agent Thorgills said, "Comparing the first half of 2021 with 2020, properties placed under offer are up 250%, and properties exchanging are up 370%. Slightly ridiculous numbers but understandable given the market closed for a few months in the first half of 2020, as we went in to COVID lockdown one. When we compare the same data against results in 2019, properties placed under offer ae up 41% and exchanges are up 43%. These numbers, in my personal view, are a very true reflection of the market, activity is significantly up on where it has been for the last few years, in the wake of the Brexit vote and a minority government."
Another local estate agent said, “With the small number of transactions recorded so far this year it is difficult to gauge the true state of the market. We haven’t had quite the boost to activity that some other parts of London have had in the run up to the Stamp Duty discount expiry but several transactions have gone through that are attributable to this change. For lower priced property the saving just isn’t worth panicking about.
“All that really matters right now for the local property market is how Verdo Kew Bridge (part of the Brentford Stadium development) sells. To me it looks richly priced but EcoWorld do know what they are doing and it could be that generous incentives are being offered. It might seem trivial but Brentford FC performing so well will make a huge difference to sales.”
Construction has now started on over 700 of the flats in the development with the first residents expected to move in before the end of the year. By the time it is completed there will be over one thousand new homes built. In addition there will be 149 homes on the site of the former Griffin Park.
Ben at Thorgills point out that it is not just the Verdo Kew Bridge that will determine the future for the area but the Brentford Project development also needs to be a success.
Where do I live? Brentford TW8 postcodes are divided into three sectors, TW8 0xx, TW8 8xx and TW8 9xx. Broadly speaking, TW8 0xx covers areas east of Boston Manor Road, TW8 8xx goes west of Boston Manor Road, whilst TW8 9xx covers the areas to the north of the A4.
Source: Land Registry
There is concern among local market professionals about the apparent low level of sales of new build properties reported to the Land Registry with none being recorded so far this year. Estate agents are convinced these sales are occurring and believe that their absence from the record may be due to the extra complexities for the Land Registry in processing a sale of a new build and the structure used by developers to transfer the ownership of new units.
Henry Lane of Thorgills said, “The lack of new build sales in Brentford at the moment is simply because there are no new buildings in Brentford – that is, none that have been enabled new owners to pick up the keys in the last few months. Yes there are building projects underway, but a lack of recorded new build sales is no indictment of supply or demand levels. Any sales of properties in the Brentford Project will not appear on the Land Registry until some months after they are ready to be lived in (which is months and years away), and I can’t think of any other new developments in the last year in Brentford. Still, there could well have been several new-build sales that have completed in the last few months that just aren’t on the Land Registry yet because of the lag. The Land Registry said last November that registering new titles (ie new builds rather than resales) is taking 9-11 months, sometimes longer. This means that there could well have been multiple new build sales completing, but we’re just not aware of them yet.”
Between May and June 2021, UK transactions increased by 74.1% on a seasonally adjusted basis as volumes recovered from lows seen during the lockdown.
The Nationwide’s House Price Index suggests that the market paused for breath in July with prices falling by 0.5% compared with the previous month.
Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said, “Annual house price growth slowed to 10.5% in July, from the 17-year high of 13.4% recorded the previous month. In month-on-month terms, house prices fell by 0.5%, after taking account of seasonal effects, following a 0.7% rise in June.
“The modest fallback in July was unsurprising given the significant gains recorded in recent months. Indeed, house prices increased by an average of 1.6% a month over the April to June period – more than six times the average monthly gain recorded in the five years before the pandemic.
“The tapering of stamp duty relief in England is also likely to have taken some of the heat out of the market. The nil rate band threshold decreased from £500,000 to £250,000 at the end of June (it will revert to £125,000 at the end of September). This provided a strong incentive to complete house purchases before the end of June, especially for higher priced properties. For those purchasing a property above £250,000, the maximum stamp duty saving reduced from £15,000 to £2,500 after the end of June.
“The stamp duty changes drove the number of housing market transactions to a record high of almost 200,000 in June as home buyers rushed to beat the deadline. This was around twice the number of transactions recorded in a typical month before the pandemic and 8% above the previous peak seen in March.
“For example, the number of transactions involving properties bought for £500,000 or higher increased by 37% over the 12 months to March 2021, compared to a rise of 2% for all properties. As a result, between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021 the share of transactions involving a property valued at £500,000 or above has increased from 12% to 18%.
“There has also been a shift in the composition of property types that have been transacting. Over the past six months the proportion of sales involving detached and semi-detached properties has increased, while the proportion involving flats has declined significantly.”
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September 28, 2021