Where to buy in South London?

First Time Buyers, Where to Buy in South London?

25th May 2017
In Elephant and Castle alone there are no less than eighteen regeneration projects underway at this time, some are in the planning stages whilst others are pouring concrete. The developments will transform the entire area that has excellent links to the 24 hr Northern Line, Bakerloo Line and National Rail connections making it highly accessible.

Elephant and Castle is being becoming a viable population hub with housing to buy prominent in the planning. This central hotspot is to benefit from a partnership between Lendlease and Southwark Council creating a £1.5 billion regeneration project of 3000 new homes, plus shops, and supporting amenities. The Elephant and Castle shopping centre will also be redeveloped creating a new Town Centre comprised of homes and shops, plus a campus for the University of the Arts, London.

Elephant Park is an outstanding brand new development offering an attractive range of modern one, two, three bedroom apartments plus town houses being built in five separate phases. Each apartment features a fully fitted kitchen that includes fitted kitchen appliances, and a smart fully fitted bathroom. This is one of London’s largest regeneration schemes bringing homes and opportunity into the Capital.

There will be up to 2,469 studio, one, two, three and four bedroom homes. A splendid brand new park within the heart of the development will introduce leisure space into the community and a create green zone for nature and relaxation for the residents. More than 400 mature trees will be planted, more than London’s Green Park, making a wonderful space for all to enjoy.

Fifty new shops will be included in the plans, they will be available at below market rent to encourage small traders and introduce ‘local’ shops into the community. Buy Local is the way to create diversity in commerce and benefit the communities. New Health facilities are included in the development in support of the large population.

Alex Neil Estate Agents cover all aspects of buying, renting, selling and letting property in South East London.


How to present your Home for Selling

Selling a home is a major undertaking, the largest transaction that many of us will undertake. Selling ones home, severing ties with people and places that are significant can be stressful, however, needs must.

The key to making house selling bearable is doing one’s homework. Planning is essential if all is to proceed successfully.

So, what can be done to make house selling easier, and to maximise your return, what you sell a property for will determine what you have to work with when buying a new home, or to invest? Presentation important.

Declutter. Much as we all love our Knick knacks other people will not appreciate them. Everything that is not essential to daily life can be packed away. This goes for kitchens and bathrooms, garages and gardens, don’t be tempted to stack the garage with all the discarded items. Secure storage is often available locally, it is inexpensive and secure.

Clear floor space so that rooms look larger. Think less is more! It is important to allow viewers to imagine their furniture etc in the living space. Likewise, in the kitchen and bathroom make space. In the kitchen remove anything that is not in use, electrical items that are not needed, be firm if it isn’t needed to hide it in a cupboard. Clear work surfaces look great in the photographs.
Remember, kitchens and bathrooms do sell houses, but they can un-sell them too!

Super clean, a home that is truly clean will attract a positive response. It is harder with small children and pets but make the effort because it can make all the difference. Consider bringing in local contract cleaners to “bottom” the house for you.

Gardens can make or break a house sale. Tidy, well-maintained gardens will attract people whereas a wilderness could drive them the way. Consider putting unneeded gardening and furniture items in storage once the summer is over.

Decorating a property makes good sense, inside and out. Try the “kerb side test”, when you look at your home from the kerb side do they see fresh clean paintwork? Let’s not give the potential buyer a reason to say No thanks!

 Especially dogs, large and small. Some people do not like dogs and may be frightened of them, or have allergies caused pets. Consider asking your local dog walking service to take them out of the house for you.

Presentation of one’s home for sale is made easier if the property is regularly spruced up and in good order.Ask for professional advice. Alex Neil Estate agents want to sell your home, and they do know what will help the process and what will not, as you will be paying them to sell your home ask for their honest appraisal and they will take over the process, helping your move be as smooth as possible.

Woolwich Arts Hubs

The Riverside at Woolwich is set to become a serious rival to London’s Southbank Centre thanks to a massive £40million proposed Arts Hub close to the Crossrail station.

Not only will the development boost the Arts in London but it is anticipated that it will drive up Woolwich house prices in the area. There is a 160,000sq ft. space that will include a major music venue in what was the Royal Military Academy, which opened at the arsenal in 1741 as a training school for young Army officers and was a forerunner of Sandhurst.

There will be an open-air courtyard theatre, with the first productions planned for late 2018. The former munitions factory will become a performance venue with seating for more than 4,000 people. A new indoor theatre will seat 450 people and there will also be an open-air courtyard theatre. Space will be provided for individual artists to work, and for theatre companies across a variety of genres.

It is planned that when the buildings are fully refurbished and ready for use Greenwich intends to establish a Trust to run the venues. They are already lining up interested parties from the performing arts that are keen to participate. It is hoped that the first theatre productions will begin at Woolwich at the end of next year with the venues operating seven days per week.

There is already a vast complex of regeneration happening throughout the Docklands area, encompassing vast tracts of land that have been transformed and others that will follow on. The enlarged population will be a ready audience for this Entertainment hub and jobs will be a spin off as venues require support staff, caterers, administrators, over and above the participating artistes. Turning a wasteland into a thriving community focal point will help with driving further development and enrich the entire South London area.

Property values throughout the South London area will be improved by the inwards movement of people heading toward the work opportunities that are being generated.

Major Investment in East London will Boost the Entire London Economy

The Royal Docks complex in East London is on the receiving end of massive inward investment with £6 billion of private sector money being injected.

The demise of the Royal London Dock Yards over recent decades has left the area semi derelict and massively under developed. Because of, or in spite of, Brexit the regeneration of this area of the Capital is moving on apace. Already developments are sprouting up transforming the entire area, bricks are being laid and concrete poured giving the construction industry and the people of the City something to feel good about.

There will be 15,000 new homes built on brown field land providing accommodation for many of the Cities dwellers. In addition, there will be 8 million square feet of commercial space generating approximately 60,000 new jobs, half as many again as first thought. The Royal Docks area will rapidly become a fresh dynamo generating energy and a huge boost to the economy of the Capital and far beyond. For businesses and individuals alike this is the largest initiative of its type, even larger than Old Oak Common in size and scope. This creates huge opportunities for Londoners to work and invest in the City with an improved opportunity to find a place in which to live, locally.

Projects being developed include ABP, the Chinese Business Park, Silvertown Quays, Royal Wharf , Waterside Park, and Royal Albert Basin all of which are serviced by Crossrail and increased flights from London City Airport making accessibility far easier.

In the light of the UK’s post Brexit expectations London is getting a new business and commercial heart, clearly there is an air of expectation and eager anticipation, and absolutely no lack of confidence is visible as this huge investment demonstrates. ABP Royal Docks first phase for Asian Business centre is already 70% committed whilst work has begun on 800 new homes and planning permissions are going ahead steadily. Clearly the Office of The Mayor of London is busy helping with the drive to create a huge business hub that will serve the entire City for many years to come.


Chairman of ABP, Xu Weiping, said: “These major investments are a vote of confidence to the UK and London market following the Brexit vote. ABP is delighted to be working alongside CITIC Group and Charoen Popkhand Group, two of Asia’s biggest enterprises, to deliver the Royal Albert Dock project.

East London is fast becoming one of the capital’s most exciting places to do business and we are pleased that other Asian companies have seen the potential and are also now investing in the area.”

The potential return on investment has clearly been identified as being vast. Doubters about the direction of travel of UK Ltd can take heart. The business heart of London, and thereby the Country at large, is beating healthily.

Alex Neil Estate Agents

Brexit and the Possible Effects to the London Property Market.

Parliament has decided, the Bill has passed through Parliament and the only remaining issue is the Royal Assent for Article 50 to be invoked leading to the eventual exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, better known as Brexit. The elephant in the room has now firmly stepped into the forefront and it is important to take a look at how this will impact on individuals, businesses, and property owners in the South London part of the greater conurbation.

A time of uncertainty is bound to follow, to some extent this has already taken root and it is likely to gain traction as the negotiations continue aided and abetted by the media. Now that Article 50 has been invoked the (political) games will begin in earnest.

House prices rose faster in recent months with high-end property in the vanguard as London property values made considerable gains. For individuals, and investors alike, it would appear that property values will continue to rise, by what degree is open for conjecture. Whilst the pros and cons of our withdrawal are negotiated there may be a slowdown in terms of overall growth and already we have seen the pound devalued, yes it was pre-planned anyway, and collectively the burden on family budgets is likely to be considerable. With interest rates at an all-time low people are still buying property regardless of any perceived lack in confidence.

It is anticipated that the Capital’s Housing Market will be hit hardest by any adverse impact from Brexit, much will depend on the likely outcome of negotiations with regard to the Financial Sector which currently, and historically, does much to reinforce the demand for high value property in the City.

Whilst it is true that existing property owners in the City will be able to maximise their return by selling, they will then have to buy new property at no small cost. The general inflationary spiral also makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for new buyers to get on the property ladder. Increased house prices have propped up consumer activity, and consumption is the backbone of the National economy, at a time when wage rises have been more moderate. It is also a fact worthy of note that a substantial amount of property purchases are investment based for the rental market, further limiting the availability of affordable housing for purchase.

South London estate agents say continue to see large scale property rises, bricks and mortar are solid investments in times of uncertainty. Whilst Brexit negotiations rumble on over the next two years we can confidently expect to see high-value property being an attraction to movers and shakers domestically and internationally as the City of London takes its place on the International scene. Simultaneously, we can expect affordable housing suburbs to move further out of the City causing a greater pressure and the need for good public transport infrastructure.

The die is cast and we will watch with interest.

New landlord taxes and how it can affect you

Buy-to-let landlords got shocked when it was announced that their tax relief for mortgage interest in buy-to-let properties are going to be slashed starting April this year.

On the current tax relief policy, landlords can claim their tax relief based on their rate of tax depending on their property’s mortgage interest payments. The basic taxpayer can get a 20% tax relief but those who are in a higher margin can claim as high as 40 to 45%. With the new tax relief policy, everyone will get a 20% flag down rate. Basic taxpayers won’t have any problem with this but those who are used to receiving more will definitely feel the loss over time.

For example, if a landlord has a £200,000 worth of property and his buy- to- let mortgage amounts to £150,000 together with £800 of monthly rent, the landlord will be able to get a £2,160 net profit for the whole year. However, since the new policy has fixed rate of 20%, the landlord will get £960 only.

Those who have long term- fixed rate mortgage will be the ones who will feel the changes the most as this kind has higher rates but the return of their investment might not be enough. Most landlords will initially make the rent higher but this set up may not work as most tenants barely have enough for their needs.

There are ways on how you can somehow soften the blow. First, you can opt for short- term fixed rate, though its risk is higher, you will be able to get lower rates for your interests. Another way is to include your real estate portfolio to a limited company organisation. You’ll be paying less as income tax is generally much higher but prepare yourself for fewer mortgage options as not all lenders prefer lending to a company.

The new tax relief policy is said to level out the discrepancy between the small scale landlords and the major players in the industry. If you’re a small scale buy- to- let landlord, then you don’t have to worry about the new policy as you won’t be affected that much. Lastly, this new policy may also help those who are planning to have their own buy- to- let property business as the competition decreases.

For the people who have investment property in South East London and its neighbouring areas, they can expect changes when it comes to their mortgage interest payments. As long as they’re running a small scale business, they won’t be obliged to do something and only the major players will have to do some remedies for their profit loss and for the competition.

Effects of Crossrail to the South East and East London property market

Additional crossrails in London tube give more access to transportation to neighboring areas outside of London. New infrastructures also signify that the area will have more developments thus the cost of living in these areas will also increase.

One of the fastest- moving industry in this neighbourhood is the real estate or property market. House prices are constantly moving up and once another project has been established in one area, expect the house prices to go skyrocketing.

A tube line called the Elizabeth Line is set to be open in 2018 but a lot of predictions regarding house price increase are already circulating. Since its announcement, housing prices around the areas where the Elizabeth Line will pass through has already seen increase in property prices and it is believed to continue increasing by three percent until the time it opens and becomes fully operational.

What’s next for Canary Wharf, Abbey Wood, Stratford and Woolwich?

For the past year, Abbey Wood has been the most productive area as its house prices increased up to 35% which makes the average price of houses to be £286,706. This was also caused by the projected travel time from Central London once the new cross rail starts operating. Abbey Wood will be more connected to Central London as it will only take half as much time as needed using the new station. The new cross rails will also cut the travel time to other areas almost by half so more people are turning their heads toward these neighborhood. Canary Wharf and Woolwich are looking into an increase of four to five percent yearly up until the nearby stations start running trains.

Among the two, Woolwich seems to be looking into a brighter neighborhood as hundreds of Properties are currently in construction while few thousands more are planned to be built around the area. Since this area will be easier to reach than before, more people are pouring in and the demand is also expected to go up until the station’s launch.

Generally, all of the neighbouring areas of the soon- to open Elizabeth Line will see price increase for the next few months leading to its opening. The Elizabeth Line not only aims to cut the commute time by half but also to connect the whole of London better.