NVP’s Five Best Al Fresco Spots in K&C ()
Whether you just need a quick coffee and pastry pit stop or the perfect summery location for lunch, allow us to recommend these five foodie sun traps.
Granger & Co
The Aussie king of all-day dining Bill Granger has just opened his latest London outpost on Pavilion Road, which has recently become quite the foodie destination. Soak up the sun while tucking into ricotta hotcakes and an iced tea.
237 Pavillion Road, SW1X 0BP
Part of style emporium, Boutique 1, and just along from Granger & Co is this well kept secret which popped up a few months ago. Dine on chopped salad and cold pressed juice and enjoy the people watching.
127/128 Sloane St, SW1X 9AS
The Ivy Chelsea Garden
Still hands down the prettiest setting for delicious food, cocktails and other indulgences – there’s even an entire menu dedicated to waffles – it’s easy to imagine you’ve been transported to California in this charming floral enclave.
197 King’s Road, SW3 5EQ
The ever popular forecourt at this Chelsea institution positively hums with revelers in the summer, especially during Wimbledon when you can watch live coverage of the tennis and enjoy fragrant fayre from the barbecue.
350 King’s Road, SW3 5UU
If you fancy somewhere a little quieter, head for the terrace of this Pimlico farm shop and café. The eggs Benedict comes highly recommended and the added bonus is that you can pick up all manner of organic delights to take home.
44B Pimlico Road, SW1W 8LP
Prime Resi Feature on NVP Deal ()
It’s been a pretty good week for NVP. On Monday we discovered we’d been selected as one of Prime Resi’s ‘Top 50 Boutique London Estate Agencies’ and yesterday the same respected luxury property journal reported on our first commercial deal. Not a bad start to February…
Read more here bit.ly/2krGZIv
NVP Selected as One of Prime Resi’s Top Boutique London Agencies ()
NVP is very proud to announce that, having opened our doors less than 3 years ago in a roller coaster ride of a market, our raison d’etre based on knowledge, attention to detail and a love for doing what we do is proving to resonate with the PCL industry.
We are delighted to have been included in Prime Resi’s guide to the ‘Top 50 Boutique London Estate Agencies’.
Read more here… http://bit.ly/2k8zvIr
Our Predictions for 2017 ()
When it comes to the sales market we predict trading conditions to remain challenging for 2017. This, we imagine, will very much be the case for Q1 2017 as buyers, and in particular foreign buyers, wait by the sidelines until Article 50 gets invoked at the end of March. We have many foreign buyers on our books who are telling us they are keen to buy again in London to take advantage of the devaluation of sterling thus far and the drop in capital values over the past couple of years. Many of these buyers from overseas are already beginning their searches, but will hold off till Q2 2017 when they believe sterling will come down further.
We believe there will be a short window of opportunity for foreign buyers between Q2 & Q3 2017 to buy back into London at levels not seen since 2009, if you factor in the currency and drop in property prices. We don’t think this window will be open indefinitely, as once we know the direction the UK is heading in sterling looks set to strengthen against other currencies. This buying spree could be fuelled further in the spring if the Chancellor decides to finally acknowledge that the stamp duty overhaul, introduced by the late Chancellor George Osbourne, has not worked and lowers stamp duty in the Spring Budget on March 8th.
Now is the time for all good agents to take on the stock and register buyers on their books in order to capitalise and generate the revenue needed to get them through the year in Q2 & Q3.
Five of the Best Places to Feel Festive in K&C ()
Enjoy a programme of Victorian themed events at this beautiful London landmark, from lantern making to music recitals. An installation of illuminated, paper-cut illustrations are also on view, inspired by the diaries of Queen Victoria.
Natural History Museum Ice Rink
Wrap up warm, wear the kids out and rediscover your own inner child as you slip and slide around the most enchanting ice rink in town. Fairy lights galore, a Christmas carousel and a smaller rink where younger children can hone their skills make the experience extra special.
Royal Albert Hall
What better time to visit one of the best known and most impressive concert halls in the world? Join in with the Singalong Carols, take your children along to go on a magical adventure to meet Father Christmas or book tickets for the Christmas Spectacular.
Victoria & Albert Museum
Worth a visit just to see the Christmas tree in the grand entrance. This year the museum commissioned StudioXAG who have designed a striking contemporary tree in wrought iron, swathed in a garland hung with decorations inspired by childhood. There are even two working toy trains travelling around the tree. The museum also has an excellent gift shop.
Andreas, Chelsea Green
We had to include this exceptional Continental grocers, as it’s one of our favourite places to buy top of the range, seasonal ingredients – they have supplied the likes of the River Café – and they are looking particularly festive this year. Buy their own label panettone and other yuletide goodies, and you can get everything delivered to your door.
No Time Like the Present ()
It’s beginning to feel more and more like Christmas, with the lights twinkling in Sloane Square, Santa in his grotto at Harrods (and, magically, managing to make appearances elsewhere) and hotel lobbies competing in the tree stakes.
If you’re considering putting your house on the market, you’re probably thinking of waiting until after Christmas, but in actual fact there are plenty of good reasons to do it right now.
We ourselves have seen a flurry of activity over the past week or so on the sales side – those shrewd enough to know an opportunity when they see one – and buyers who have been sitting on the side-lines cautiously are coming out and making offers with a view to sealing a deal before the end of the year.
There are only a couple of days over the holidays when most of us are tied up with family, the rest of the time is spent browsing the sales, for next year’s holidays and… guess what? Property. Whether for a new home or an investment. The market place is less crowded as, there are of course, many people away on vacation, and the vendors who have been marketing their properties all year wish to draw a line under it and sell before the New Year.
So, rather than procrastinate for another couple of months, why not seize the moment and start 2017 with a spring in your step, having sold your house or bought the perfect property.
A Newcomer’s Guide to London ()
Twelve quirky ‘facts’ about the city we call home, by NVP
Black cabs will not necessarily stop, even if their light is on to say they’re available.
If you want to visit a ‘typical’ London pub, choose very carefully. They are not all quaint.
English people like talking about the weather as much as Italians like talking about food.
A shop that sells books is called a book shop, not a library – this is something quite different.
If in doubt say sorry; it’s a word Brits use a lot.
Many English people consider it completely normal to wear flip-flops in the middle of winter.
Most Englishmen are not inclined to go for a manicure or pedicure (despite their love of year round, open toed footwear) so be prepared for some strange looks if you do.
Potato chips are called crisps and come in every bizarre flavour known to man.
Although the London food scene is now ‘a thing’, many Brits still insist on splashing cheap vinegar onto chips – that’s fries, to you. Keep up.
Contrary to popular belief, it actually rains a lot more in Zurich and Milan than it does in London.
White vans are to be feared when crossing the road.
Brits love saying Bon Appetit. Just go with it.
Fall Fail ()
In yesterday’s Autumn Statement Philip Hammond had the perfect opportunity to listen to the property professionals and remove the onerous SDLT increases brought in by the previous chancellor George Osbourne. We were disappointed however, though once again not entirely surprised, that the Chancellor did not reform stamp duty at the upper end of the market, or reverse the extra 3% recently introduced on secondary homes and BTL landlords.
The government also missed a trick to bring regulation to letting agents by creating a standard fee and instead opted to ban lettings fees charged to tenants altogether. Clearly the government has failed to get to grips with the industry, as they don’t seem to realise that agents are not able to afford to absorb all these extra costs. They will now have to be passed on to landlords who will in turn increase their rents.
We can only turn to the immortal words of Sir Winston Churchill, at times like this, and keep buggering on.
‘Let’ The Good Times Roll ()
For the first time since we opened our doors for business in 2014 we have found that our rental income, for the last 3 months, has overtaken our sales income. This has come as no surprise to us at NVP. We were expecting the sea change and believe the trend is here to stay for the next couple of years while our government implements Article 50 and negotiates new trade agreements with Europe and the rest of the world.
This seems to correlate with the other leading estate agencies, most of which are anticipating more properties being available to rent than for sale in 2017. Recent data relating to the PCL super-prime lettings market regarding transactions above £5,000 per week show an increase of 16% compared to last year, as top-end sales slow to a crawl.
For many wealthy individuals looking to buy a seven or eight figure home in the UK the sums don’t add up. As Knight Frank’s head of super-prime lettings Tom Smith points out, the stamp duty on the purchase of a £15m property is £1.7m, which is the equivalent to three years rent. Yields can reach between 3.5% and 4% for best-in-class super-prime properties due to their relative scarcity, which compares to less than 3% across prime central as a whole.
This is not to say the news relating to prime sales is all bad. Deals in excess of £30m rose by 28% this year compared to last, so each to their own!
When Less is More ()
After a subdued 3 months post the referendum we crossed our fingers that we would see a pick-up of activity heading towards the Christmas period. Our expectations, or rather our hopes, have been realised this week as we have received more offers on our properties than we’ve seen in the last quarter.
We are finding that offers coming in on properties which have already had a price reduction are within 5-10% of the new asking prices. However, those properties which have seen no price reductions throughout their marketing period are failing to receive offers or are receiving offers 20%-30% below their asking prices. This seems to dovetail in quite nicely with recent data released by LonRes for Autumn 2016 which shows that ‘Almost half of homes sold in the three months following the referendum had reduced their asking prices before finding a buyer’.
Our advice to vendors who’ve been on the sales market all year and who wish to close before the year end is to reduce their asking prices now, or be prepared to wait until 2017 .
What Does the Future Hold for Stamp Duty ()
After the first full year under the new stamp duty system it would seem that HMRC has had a small gain in revenue. However these figures are somewhat deceiving, and if one extrapolates the increase in transaction in March 2016 to beat the extra 3% stamp duty on secondary homes, then the net SDLT receipts will show a loss. We believe that next quarter’s figures will paint a bleaker picture as the pronounced slow-down in transactions in the South East starts to trickle down through the rest of the country which up until now had still been seeing continued price growth.
Impacted by onerous transaction taxes, and further compounded by economic uncertainty, the UK’s super-prime market has been under downward pressure since SDLT changes introduced in 2014. Further evidence of this is seen in the recent Land Registry data released which shows just 5 transactions taking place over £10m+ in the three months till August 2016. That’s down 86% on the same period in 2015, when 35 £10m+ sales were officially registered. It’s important to remember, however, that the very nature of super-prime deals means that many never end up on the official register.
We can only hope that there is a continued downward pressure on sterling and that the Chancellor sees sense and takes the opportunity to reduce the stamp duty thresholds, now that the tax receipts seem to show a decrease in revenues coming the government’s way.
The Waiting Game ()
Due to the fall in prices in PCL over this year, coupled with the sharp, post Brexit fall in sterling against the dollar and the euro, we are beginning to see more buyers stepping into the market and beginning to make offers. As we mentioned recently, we are finding that vendors who are pricing their properties correctly in line with current market conditions are achieving offers at asking or very close to it.
There are, of course, other types of buyers out there: those who want to buy but who feel that prices and sterling will continue to fall, and then those who are trying it on and putting forward ridiculous offers. For those buyers waiting for a further fall in prices and sterling, all we can say is that they may be right and they may be wrong, however it is very hard to call the bottom of the market. Our advice for those who are looking to buy a home or a rental investment, and are prepared to hold on to it for 5-10 years, is that stepping into the market now, at a discounted rate of 15%-35% from the peak of 2014, seems like an opportunity not to be missed.
For those buyers putting in ‘ridiculous offers’, our guess is that these are probably the same people who’ve not bought in the past 10 years, waiting for the market to collapse, and they will probably still be there in a decade’s time!
Back in the real world, there are buyers who have been telling me that they are keen to buy but want to wait and see if the Chancellors autumn budget on November 23rd sees stamp duty or primary and secondary homes come down. If this is the case, then surely over the next couple of weeks is the time to agree a sale, as by the time the solicitors have done their due diligence and are ready to exchange we should know if the budget has seen the chancellor lower the stamp duty thresholds.
Post Conservative Conference Comment: Sterling Reaches New Low ()
Following yesterday’s conservative conference, and Theresa May’s speech confirming that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty will be invoked no later than March 2017, we have seen sterling reach a 3 year low against the euro (£1 =€1.1460) and a 31 year low against the $ (£1 = $1.2796).
The devaluation of sterling, as well as further vulnerability in the weeks ahead, bodes well for foreign buyers looking to take advantage and step into the PCL market this autumn. However, if the government wants to see inward investment to help prop up the market in PCL to bring transaction levels back in line with figures seen over the past couple of years then the chancellor is also going to have to review the current SDLT levels in this autumn’s budget.
Our message at NVP continues to be positive for those vendors who price their properties in line with current market conditions as we are seeing increased viewing levels on properties which are priced correctly. The autumn market is a short one, so any vendors wanting to sell before Christmas need to listen to their estate agent to avoid disappointment.
Generation Rent ()
Generation Rent is no longer simply theoretical. It’s here to stay for another decade, according to PWC, who say that by 2025 only 40% of Londoners will own their own home. That marks a U-turn on the situation in 2000, when 60% of Londoners were homeowners. By 2025, say PWC, the majority of 20-39 year olds will be renters.
This is standard practice in the rest of Europe and tenants will be looking to get greater security of tenure with rental contracts often lasting 5-10 years. Besides the security that offers to the tenant, landlords will have the benefit of tenants they know and can trust over a long period; no void periods to worry about; none of the expense and effort associated with having to find new tenants every year or so.
The rise of a long-term rental culture could also be seen to offer a more flexible and mobile lifestyle – a plus for young professionals who are still working out where they want to put down roots. Renting will increasingly be seen less as a temporary last resort, but more as a viable and valid option. Good news for landlords and tenants alike.
Kensington & Chelsea Magazine: The Three Musketeers ()
We are thrilled to feature in this June’s edition of the Kensington & Chelsea Magazine.
To read the full article, please click here.
The NVP Team