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good value for money, great location and security. There is evidence, however, of more stock coming onto the market, so those sellers wishing to achieve the best price for their property are advised to do so soon, before interest rates start to rise.

Hurford Salvi Carr, in its latest property review notes that the implementation of the Government’s austerity programme will continue to have a significant influence on levels of confidence in the housing market. On 6th April the new rate of stamp duty of 5% for residential sales in excess of £1 million comes into effect. We can expect to see an increase in activity at the high end of the market in response to this in the first quarter of 2011 and a concomitant slow down in

activity once the measure comes into effect.

Glen Cook of Hamilton Brooks

reckons very strange market conditions have started off the New Year. Having broken off for the Christmas break the market was frantic, plenty of exchanges, lots of interest, and again no stock. But the New Year was promising to be the same, but the start of the year was very quiet indeed, - still very limited stock, but buyer enquiries dropped until mid February. Since then things have got better. Last week was much busier, more offers coming in, lots of enquiries for Frobisher Crescent, more enquiries from Buy to Let investors, so hopefully this continues into the next quarter.

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Jack Davison (Scott City: We have seen a massive drop in stock levels at the beginning of the year. All Barbican apartments we do get seem to have high interest, leading to asking price offers, or close to, being achieved. We have many applicants waiting in the wings for any types of Barbican properties. With the ever present City employment, there are always prospective tenants from overseas looking for a base. A number of properties we have had available in the Barbican have been seen to go within 24 hours. We have seen a continued rise in rental prices throughout the Barbican, proven by a large style studio within John Trundle Court agreeing an asking price of £310 per week. Another example would be a one bed in Ben Jonson House, receiving three asking price offers the morning it appeared on the market.


types of Barbican stock is needed immediately! Glen Cook: The Lettings Market is still very good, very limited stock, which is keeping rental return very high, we have seen a large number of Buy to Let enquiries for Frobisher Crescent, in particular the studio apartments which are renting for £375 per week, but as we only have 4 left that opportunity will soon dry up.

General rentals in the Barbican are very good - well presented one beds can now command £450 per week, up from £375 per week from only 18 months ago. Hurford Salvi Carr: The fundamentals underpinning rental growth look set to be maintained in 2011 with: ■ limited additions to rental stock in both the new homes and secondhand markets, ■ demand for rental stock being maintained as employment levels in central London are maintained and possibly enhanced, ■ barriers to securing mortgage finance keeping occupiers in the rental sector for longer than was historically the case. As a result we consider that there is

potential for rents to increase by a further 8-10% by the end of 2011. Under this scenario, rents will have risen by 29% over two and half years from mid- 2009, based on fundamentals which are unlikely to be radically altered in the medium- term. Renting is now more expensive than buying when comparing monthly interest-only mortgage payments at a notional 5% interest rate for a two-bedroom flat, compared to monthly rent.

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