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The most in-demand prime London streets bucking Brexit uncertainty

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Leading London lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, has revealed the capital’s prime and super-prime streets where buyer activity remains robust despite a wider market freeze due to an uncertain political landscape.  

Benham and Reeves analysed property sales between £3m and £10m and £10m+ over the last 12 months to find the streets that remain hot for London’s high-end home buyers and how much they’re paying.

Prime London

In the last year, the prime market (£3m-£10m) has seen a total of 917 sales across London with an average price paid of £4.5m, and sales totaling £4.1bn.

The most sought after road in London at this level of the market is Blackfriars Road in Southwark with a huge total of 51 sales in the last 12 months totaling £227.5m – the largest total sales value. 

Bishops Avenue in Barnet and Chiltern Street in Westminster rank second with 13 sales apiece, with Marylebone Lane, also in Westminster, and Campden Hill in Kensington and Chelsea, Water Lane in the City of London, Waterfront Drive in Hammersmith and Fulham and Young Street in Kensington and Chelsea also amongst the most in-demand with six sales each.  

Campden Hill was also home to the highest average price per sale at almost £7.6m.

Super Prime London

At the very top end of the London market, there has been a total of 79 transactions in the last 12 months, averaging £17.2m a sale with a total of £1.4bn worth of property sold.  

Ashburton Place in Westminster tops the table with six transactions, followed by Avenue Road, also in Westminster, with four transactions. Wilton Crescent in Westminster and Tregunter Road and Campden Hill, both in Kensington and Chelsea, have also seen three sales each in the last year. 

Ashburton Place not only tops the table for transactions but is home to the highest average sold price at a staggering £27.5m, as well as the highest total value of property sold at £165.4m.

Managing Director of Benham and Reeves, Anita Mehra, commented:

“The continued political and economic uncertainty caused by our prolonged departure from the European Union has had an impact on buyer sentiment across London’s high-end market, and we’ve seen this caution lead to a fall in transactions and a decline in the price achieved during a sale to a certain extent.

However, to have seen as many as six sales transact over the ten million pound mark on one street alone is proof that London remains one of if not the most desirable market in the world, despite this tougher landscape. 

In addition to this, it seems as though we have very much seen the bottom of the market over the last few months and there has already been a notable uplift in buyer and seller activity which is already stimulating the prime and super-prime markets.”

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Cost of maintaining a buy-to-let hits £12k a year in parts of the UK

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Leading property management platform, Howsy, has looked at the cost of maintaining a buy-to-let property each year and how this varies across the UK.  

Buy-to-let can be a tricky business if you don’t tackle it properly and there are a whole host of costs that can trip up the amateur investor. From the more obvious additional three percent stamp duty tax, to various other tax implications, void periods, mortgage costs, agency fees, the cost of finding a tenant, and more, Howsy’s previous research shows the average buy-to-let brings an annual return of just £2,000.

With the Government’s continued attack on UK landlords, making the most out of your investment financially can be tough and even when you consider all financial commitments for a property, many can still be caught unaware by out of the blue maintenance and repair costs. 

Buy-to-let landlords should squirrel away savings in anticipation of these events and an industry rule of thumb is an annual budget equivalent to 1% of your property’s value. 

So what does that equate to?  

Across the UK landlords should be tucking away an annual budget of £2,344 to cover repairs and maintenance, with this rising to £4,746 in London, with the North East home to the lowest repair costs at just £1,328. 

Of course, markets with higher rent returns may seem promising from an investment standpoint but the higher the reward, the higher the cost when things do go wrong. In Kensington and Chelsea, this annual 1% saving climbs to an eye-watering £12,292, hitting nearly £9,000 in both the Cities of London and Westminster.  

Outside of London, South Bucks and Elmbridge are home to the most expensive buy-to-let maintenance costs at £6,091 and £6,019 respectively.

Head to the likes of Burnley or Blaenau Gwent however, and this yearly maintenance budget drops to less than £1,000 a year.

Founder and CEO of Howsy, Calum Brannan, commented: 

“The buy-to-let sector can be a minefield for the amateur investor and now more than ever, it’s imperative that you do everything you can to maximise the return on your investment.

While technology now allows a greater level of control and service when managing your investment at a lower cost via online platforms, it isn’t just about the financial side of things. Providing a fit for purpose property is not only a legal requirement but essential to ensure a happy tenancy and a reduction in void periods.

Of course, things can go wrong and having the budget available to fix them is a must. In the worst-case scenarios, a cash pot equal to one percent of your property’s value might not be sufficient, but it should cover you for most eventualities and is a good benchmark to start on.

As with all buy-to-let investments, good preparation, organisation, and education are key, and whether you go it alone or have a great management agent if you stay on top of things, a bricks and mortar investment is still one of the best you can make.” 

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