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Barbican Flat Watch Our quarterly review of Barbican property sales and rental values. S

hould one be worried about headlines like: “Why house prices look set to collapse” and their ilk if you own property here in the Barbican – or elsewhere for that matter?


doomsayers have been predicting a house price meltdown since the middle of the last decade, following that seen in the U.S.A. and countries like Spain, but so far it hasn’t happened here. Could it happen? Yes it could, but there has been no sign of it materialising yet and we may well pull through the economic downturn without. True there has been a relatively mild decline over parts of the country, but prices here in London have remained mostly firm – indeed have been rising in some areas (like the Barbican) for the right properties. Things could change as the recession continues to impact the London financial sector with job losses and big bonus cuts, but so far we haven’t seen it happening in the Barbican micro market where few properties are coming on to the market and continuing demand keeps price levels relatively high. Indeed the local estate agents, as can be seen in their comments below, remain relatively optimistic and while that tends to be a compulsory characteristic for those working in the sector one can always pick up a hint of depression if they really think prices are going to decline. This is not evident as yet.

They may however be a little depressed about the scarcity of Barbican stock available for sale, given how easy it is to sell a Barbican apartment in comparison with sales elsewhere. Indeed some properties change hands here without even getting as far as an advertisement in the agent’s window as most will have potential buyers lined up and willing to jump in for the right property at a moment’s notice. But, with new agents forever trying to muscle in on the market as witness the frequent flyers through our letterboxes from existing and new agents, those who depend primarily on Barbican sales may tend to be a little nervous of competition coming into an already tight marketplace – but Barbican residents who wish to sell are mostly happy to continue with the


agents they know – and who all advertise regularly in these pages - and may well have bought their property through, as they know those looking for a flat here will mostly be contacting the principal specialists in the market.

Another positive on the sales front too is that fixed term mortgages are at record lows and there seems no sign of interest base rates rising in the

immediate or near future as the Bank of England keeps rates low in an attempt to help stimulate the economy.

There are thus a lot of contrasting factors at play and so far these have, overall, benefited in-demand locations like the Barbican – at least if you are looking to sell. Buying remains a little more of a challenge. As long as the existing factors continue, property prices

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