The city scene is ever-changing and this year will be no different. Property editor Annunciata Elwes gazes into her crystal ball – with the help of experts from across the metropolis – and predicts a rise in demand for Air BnB-friendly properties, a cooling of interest in smart technology and the areas which will defy Brexit.
No more technology overload
‘Buyers do still want some tech,’ says Charles Thompson of the Thackeray Estate, but less of the ridiculously complicated wired-in speaker systems. Marc Schneiderman of Arlington Residential agrees, adding that ‘zoned mood lighting has fallen out of favour’.
Quality always stands out, though, asTim Hassell of Draker Lettings says” ‘It’s considered by many to be much more stylish to use a simple, good-quality light switch made out of a beautiful material, rather than a phone app that turns your lightbulbs pink.’
More and more people still want to buy in London, no matter what
Brexit be damned. Nothing can stop demand for London property. Knight Frank reports a 12.5% increase in prospective new buyers in the third quarter of 2018 compared to 2017 and a 31% rise in prime central and prime outer London since January 2016. However, they’re cautious; the number of viewings undertaken before an offer was made has risen to its highest level in more than five years.
The skyline is edging Manhattan-wards. Within the next decade a dense knot of skyscrapers will emerge, with 510 tall towers currently in the pipeline. This year, we can expect completion of the tallest residential building in Europe: the Landmark Pinnacle, E14. The 1,000ft Tulip, a viewing platform by Foster + Partners that’s set to be the tallest building in the City, is awaiting approval.
Growth around the corner
Heightened uncertainty around Brexit will delay recovery in the prime central London housing market for up to two years, predicts Savills. But it won’t last long: there will be a bounce back in 2021, the firm suggest, with a total growth of 12.4% over the next five years.
Fewer Saturday viewings
Why trek around when you can enjoy a virtual 3D tour? ‘This enables a buyer to walk around a property from anywhere in the world with a computer, tablet or phone,’ explains Will Watson of Middleton Advisors.
Vanessa Hale of Strutt & Parker goes even further, saying that called ‘Holoportation’ is the future, enabling ‘a walk through and a conversation with a virtual agent in real time. This technology will allow anyone to interact in a 3D computer-generated environment with a virtual-reality headset.’
Everyone will want a nanny flat
‘The most popular houses on the market in 2019 will be those with outbuildings, perfect for nannies, mothers-in-law, guests or au pairs,’ says Dominic Spencer Churchill of DS Churchill. ‘They even provide the opportunity for Airbnb income or a home office. Homes with this sort of extra space will sell fast.’
Life, health and property will go hand in hand
The trend for renovating properties with health and well-being at their core is on the rise, according to Maison Communications. Many London builders are calling in experts to achieve this, such as design consultancy Ekkist. The firm recently worked on Ori House, a blueprint focused on enhancing your wellbeing that can be built anywhere you like. It’s the first in the UK to meet both the Passivhaus standard for low energy and low carbon footprint and the WELL Building Standard.
The startling gentrification of Nine Elms
15 years ago, this part of London was still dominated by railway arches and warehouses. Things are different now, and three exciting tenants are moving into one of the biggest new developments, Embassy Gardens – a gallery, beauty salon and Cyclebar.
Along with the Sky Pool (a glass-bottomed swimming pool 115ft up above the city), restaurants, boutiques and the US Embassy, this part of the city hardly really needs two new Tube stops to bring people in, but it’s getting them anyway in 2020. They’ll come in handy for the 1,400 Apple employees moving into Battersea Power Station. All this will have ‘significant impact on demand’ for the area, says Jackson-Stops’s Georgina Clarke.
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