London is a great, thriving place to live. There’s always something going on in the capital, and there’s a high concentration of unique opportunities too.
There were reports in 2020 of people leaving the capital and escaping to the countryside in light of the pandemic. However, as things have since mostly reverted to normal, the popularity of the urban environment has enjoyed a resurgence, too. Among other cities, London was named one of the most popular places to move to in May.
Though the property markets are turbulent, London’s trajectory of success is unlikely to be affected. The appeal of the capital never fully goes away. If you’re considering relocating to London in 2023, here are some things you should keep in mind.
It’s no secret that the property markets have had better days. Still, hope remains, and there are still options, even if you must be realistic about the state of things.
After all, London house prices were forecasted to fall by 10% over the next two years after Kwasi Kwarteng’s budget plunged the markets into chaos. Cost-of-living concerns, higher mortgage payments and interest rates, and tighter lending procedures meant prices would drop as fewer sales were made. A quick change in Conservative leadership is unlikely to undo much of this damage anytime soon.
It’s important to know what you’re walking into. There are still opportunities with London property, but you’ll need to act even more strategically to make things work in your favour. Perhaps waiting for the back half of 2023 might give you a better idea of what you’re working with. There’s no shame in biding your time and seeing what 2023 has in store first.
That said, patience isn’t always a valid virtue with London property. If you find a home in the capital that you like, you may need to be extra speedy in making decisions on a purchase. Sales may have dropped nationwide, and interest has even halved in London, but there’s always interest and activity in London property, and there’s always an affluent individual ready to invest, even during times of strife. They will have the future in mind. Be on your toes if a potential property purchase develops that far for you in 2023.
Hire Expert London Conveyancers
Not all property markets are the same. London is a distinct sub-sector that has its own unique challenges that need to be overcome.
Therefore, you must work with local experts. Quittance Legal Services are SRA, and CLC regulated conveyancing solicitors in London with a great deal of experience with purchase, sale, Help to Buy, Right to Buy shared ownership, new build, leaseholds, remortgages and more in the London area and beyond. There are no hidden extra costs with the quotes they provide, and they also operate with a no move, no fee guarantee.
Services like these also have data on the latest Greater London sold property prices, for example. They have their finger on the pulse of the housing market. Working with top-tier conveyancers is essential, given how much faster the property markets move today. You’ll need to move ahead with all aspects of your London property purchase promptly and efficiently.
Think about everything conveyancing covers; stamp duty, bank transfer and land registry fees, third-party expenses, VAT, local authority searches, and more. There’s an awful lot to get through, and it’s one of the areas where delays are most common when purchasing a property. By choosing the right London legal specialists, the ownership of the property will be transferred to you with no setbacks.
Aim for a Fixed Rate Mortgage
Some people choose variable rates on their mortgage in the hopes it could generate savings for them later. For London 2023, such results are most probably wishful thinking.
In the wider southeast of the UK, 252,000 homeowners will see their mortgage bills go up due to being on variable rates. 315,000 people on fixed rates will also experience a hefty price rise once their current term is up. Consequently, it’s smarter in today’s climate to play things safe and delay these climbing costs for the time that seems most fitting to you.
Mortgages can be fixed between one and ten years. Typically, though, most homeowners opt for a deal between two years and five years due to the higher interest rates of long-term deals. A mortgage advisor should be able to consult you on what’s best for you considering your circumstances and concerns, so be sure to reach out to them.
It’s worth noting that forecasts are always changing, too. For example, predictions recently surfaced that showed interest rates could reach 4.75 per cent next year, which is already six per cent down from the analyst projections that immediately followed the disastrous mini-budget. Some people try and avoid them by refinancing and remortgaging, but whether such would be viable for you in 2023 remains to be seen. Keep an eye on the situation, though.
Consider ULEZ Expansions
Transport is important no matter where you live. However, in London, infrastructure is under constant improvement and refinement. It’s important to be mindful of the changes before you move.
For example, London Mayor Sadiq Kahn aims to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) across all of London by 2023. The proposals mean that non-compliant drivers of diesel and petrol vehicles would be charged £12.50 a day to drive in Greater London. The same report also states that almost half of Londoners don’t own a car. Most Londoners believe these plans should go ahead.
Therefore, it’s worth considering how these measures may affect your life. Do you intend to take any car you own with you? Can you see yourself switching to an electric vehicle? Or can you afford to pay the extra charges? If you have a partner, what do they think?
London is always trying to innovate and set an example for the rest of the nation to follow. There’s a general lesson here about a willingness to adapt and contribute to pioneering infrastructural changes. Living in London means having an open mind and preparing to do things a little differently, so try to be content with that if you’re not already.
Monitor New Builds
Remember that you don’t necessarily need to buy your ‘dream’ London home in 2023. A foothold on the property ladder is enough; more importantly, it can also be a means to an end.
After all, more homes are being built in London all the time. Even entities usually responsible for public transport are muscling in on property development, with plans to build over 20,000 new homes, with 1,650 of that number already under construction today. As this developer hopes to continue building homes over the next decade, this is just one example of some of the good work that’s going on in the capital.
Such resourceful people and companies wouldn’t build homes without the hope of selling them. Things are moving forward in London, and entities in the sector are working hard, and it’s important to be mindful of that despite all the bleak news that regularly surfaces in the media. Avoid despairing or feeling hopeless.
There’s plenty of reason for caution, but there’s also space for optimism. Even if 2023 isn’t the golden year for a property you long wished for, it can still be a key stepping stone to your eventual dream home.