Real estate prices in London are always rising, but not in 2020. After a short hike in the beginning of the year, a so-called Boris Bounce', home prices started to fall amid the coronavirus pandemic, and soon the whole market stalled. There were some high-profile sales during the lockdown in London, including a £15-million house in Westminster, but in general nothing was happening.
After the lockdown the activity went up, but the real estate market is far from its normal state. First of all, foreign investors were not able to come to London and make a deal in person — but not anymore. Starting from the beginning of July, the United Kingdom has lifted the quarantine for arrivals from almost 60 countries all over the world.
Nowadays the real estate market in London looks more than welcoming for investors who are willing to get the most out of the current situation. London's market is a buyers' market now, and here are tree reasons why it's the best time to invest in real estate in the capital of Great Britain.
Low stamp duty
Usually, a buyer has to pay a stamp duty in addition to the home price. In different parts of the UK the stamp duty is calculated in different ways, its overall sum depends on many factors, including how many homes a new owner has, and how much the new house costs. In order to boost real estate sales in the UK, Chancellor Rishi Sunak decided to temporarily raise the threshold for the stamp duty to £500,000. It means that a house in London will cost £14,200 less for an average buyer.
Both real estate agents and potential buyers welcomed this decision as a way to help the struggling market to get back on feet as soon as possible. New conditions for stamp duty will be in power until March, 2021.
Every crisis is an opportunity. The current one is no exception. Low demand creates a possibility to negotiate and get the deals one could only dream about with more than welcoming price. London house prices has been falling consequently for four months straight and will continue to do so at least till the end of the year, analysts suggest.
Landlords who are willing to sell now are ready to negotiate. High-profile sales, like a sale of former King of Greece's mansion in North London for 6 million pounds with the asking price more than 11 million, show that it is possible to get a great discount from a landlord who is ready to sell as soon as possible.
Open borders and Zoom sales
The United Kingdom is one of the few countries that never closed its borders during the coronavirus pandemic. And even now, when there's a mandatory 14-day quarantine for arrivals in power, Great Britain with 59 exceptions from this rule remains one of the most restriction-free countries nowadays. Great Britain becomes safer and safer every day with less and less daily infections, and gradual lifting of lockdown shows its effectiveness. London is coming back to life!
Even though it is safe to come to London, some investors won't be able to do it. Zoom viewings proved that it is possible to show a property without being present and even seal the deal online. Unnamed Russian businessman was one of many investors who decided to view his future property via Zoom and even agreed to spend 6 million on a penthouse in Holborn.
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