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BARBICAN LIFE


Barbican Flat Watch T


Our quarterly review of the Barbican flat market


here are still some decidedly mixed forecasts coming out regarding the likely trajectory of property prices in London, much being seen as depending on the state of the economy.


There are positive


forecasts suggesting 5-6% price growth, whereas others forecast a decline. For the moment though, the market appears to remain pretty good with strongish prices being achieved for well-located and well-cared for apartments.


Local agents still


bemoan shortage of stock and feel they can generate rapid sales for most of those Barbican properties which do come on to the market.


Indeed there is evidence that Central London house prices have been rising so far this year – and in some cases fairly substantially – but, and it is a big but – house prices elsewhere in the country seem to be definitely on a downward spiral. Whether strength in London prices can be maintained in the light of falls in most other parts of the country, remains to be seen, and certainly gives warning signals that if the economy remains flat to falling, Central London prices could move down again too.


Perhaps the biggest worry of all in relation to property values is the huge fall in the numbers of first purchasers. The younger generation is finding it increasingly difficult to raise the kind of deposit mortgage lenders are now insisting on, particularly as the young are more a ‘credit’ society rather than a saving one. Easy credit, and big debts, seem to be the norm in a very material society and few seem to be prepared to put aside enough to raise the sums needed to start on the housing ladder. And, of course, if people aren’t buying starter homes, those already in them can’t trade up. This switch to a generation more inclined to rent than to buy is good for those letting out properties – people have to live somewhere and if they can’t afford to buy they have to rent. All the Estate agents quoted below commenting on lettings reckon to be getting record rates for Barbican


properties. But even here rental prices could start to be squeezed by the stagnant or falling economic wealth of the nation – something which looks as if it could be with us for a number of years to come.


But perhaps the local estate agents have a more optimistic viewpoint – the Barbican can buck overall property price trends given the relatively limited supply available and the dearth of other residential options in the City:


ESTATE AGENTS’ COMMENTS


Sales Tina Evans of Frank Harris: Frank Harris and Company have been very busy in the last quarter with two tower flats selling at just below £1million. The estate continues to be in demand with many popular styles exceeding the prices achieved at the height of the property boom in 2007. There is a constant shortage of supply which is pushing prices higher, if you are considering selling there couldn’t be a better time. Nick Scott at Scott City: “We are starting to see the signs of more Barbican valuations which if they result in properties coming onto the market we will start to see our depleted stock levels increase. A few flats have now sold that have been on the market for a number of months,


sellers are more realistic about the market and overvaluations and if they aren’t selling at the expected price, they are starting to talk at levels where an increasing number of buyers seem prepared to pay.” Leon Stone at Hamptons


International: “As we enter the post- Easter/pre-summer period which is traditionally the busiest of the year,


Completely renovated one bed flat in Defoe House on sale by Frank Harris at £620,000


2-bed Ben Jonson house property with roof terrace on sale at Hamptons International for £720,000


The Modern House is a specialist estate agency dedicated to the sale of 20th and 21st century homes of architectural distinction. Due to strong demand, we are currently looking for Barbican apartments and other properties of architectural interest to offer for sale.


If you are thinking of selling, or you would like to learn more about the homes that we sell across the UK and France, please visit our website www.themodernhouse.net or call Matt Gibberd on 08456 344068.


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