Post-Election London Property Review by Benham and Reeves Lettings

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The UK's hung parliament is as confusing and uncertain as anyone could imagine. It is in a state of flux as politicians negotiate so the position may change over the coming days. Yet some housing market possibilities are already emerging and these represent genuine opportunities for investors who work with experienced advisers

Benham and Reeves Residential Lettings reviews post-election London property

The UK's hung parliament is as confusing and uncertain as anyone could imagine. It is in a state of flux as politicians negotiate so the position may change over the coming days. Yet some housing market possibilities are already emerging and these represent genuine opportunities for investors who work with experienced advisers:

  • The escalating financial crises on mainland Europe make it urgent for a clear resolution to be found to the UK's electoral impasse before a 'dithering' perception damages the wider economy and the sales and lettings sectors
  • The central London sales market may, perhaps bizarrely, benefit from a very short period of uncertainty. A further weakening of the pound before a new government beds in could see another 10% or 20% off prime London prices for the Dollar and Euro buyers who have piled in over the past two years
  • The sales market in areas like Hampstead and North London, which are more reliant on domestic transactions, may become volatile as sellers and buyers alike may be unable to find homes to purchase. Therefore they are likely to be short-term renters, increasing demand in locations where there is already a shortage of supply
  • There are no longer fears that amateur landlords will flood the central London lettings market. Promises of looser lettings regulations, plus the absence of any good alternative investment, were anticipated to encourage amateur investors if the Conservatives secured a strong majority. Such amateurs may well now be scared off - even if the Conservatives lead a minority government - so one upside of the inconclusive result is that existing investors using experienced lettings agents will still work in a market where demand exceeds supply and yields are strong
  • Many lettings agents are reporting that in some rents have risen by as much as 20% during the first four months of 2010 because demand is so high. This environment now looks likely to remain for the short term at least.

Remember that London is universally considered a safe haven for investment - as proven by a rush of Greek investors into the UK capital in recent weeks and politicians will respond to maintain that image. Potential for further investment remains, but there has never been a time when it has been more important for experienced hands to be assisting all investors, especially those from overseas.

Anita Mehra, Managing Director at Benham and Reeves Residential Lettings, emphasises this point by stating "The post-election political uncertainty may be short-lived and does not stem the potential of central London's rental market, which has gone from strength to strength in recent months." "Foreign investors in particular are well-placed to take advantage of their favourable exchange rates but the picture is complicated and investors need experienced lettings professionals to advise on the best property types, sizes and locations and to manage tenants and the property itself which is where we come in."

In recent months B&R has worked with investors at offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and India and has been handling growing numbers of enquiries from mainland China.

In property, nothing beats experience - especially in difficult times.

About Benham and Reeves Residential Lettings

With nine offices in the prime residential areas of London (and overseas offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai), Benham and Reeves Residential Lettings is recognised as one of London's largest specialist lettings-only agencies. They are also one of the only lettings agents to offer an interior design, refurbishment and furnishing service for investment properties through their sister company In:Style Direct.

The company is part of established property group, The Complete Property Investment Solution, which offers a complete range of services to help clients maximise their return on investment. With a leading sales and acquisition agent, interior designer and furnishing company within the group, The Complete Property Investment Solution can manage all aspects of property investment.

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Tracie Lack
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