Aylesford International 2014: Warnings over Chelsea and Mansion Tax

Aylesford International, although relatively low profile compared to many London-centric agents, has been established since 1966 and since that time claims to have sold £20 billion (yes, billion) of property in the capital.

It has no research department so, for good or for bad, expect no figures in the company’s forecast for next year. But it is amongst the leading high-end sales agencies so it is worth tapping into its thoughts for 2014.

“The rise in stamp duty on properties over £2m has undoubtedly made a price bubble at the sub-£2m level. Fulham and Battersea, both located close to prime areas, are undoubtedly booming with huge price rises and Mayfair continues its meteoric rise from where it was 20 years ago. The demand for Belgravia and Knightsbridge lateral space continues to outstrip supply and prices continue to rise” says Aylesford director Howard Elston.

“Certain parts of West London are less busy with fewer buyers and less prepared to pay the high prices still demanded by vendors; large Chelsea houses are an example. In this bracket a property may take six months to sell with sixty or seventy viewings, whereas a few years ago it would have sold within a couple of months after relatively few viewings” he says.

Aylesford’s head of rentals, Catherine Cockcroft, notes two trend - SW10 remaining the most popular postcode and more clients choosing a weekly commute so renting a pied d’terre in London and returning to their families at the weekend.

“If a Mansion tax goes ahead we will see a flood of properties coming to the sales market from those unable to pay, which will be good for the buy to let investor. It may increase demand for rented properties if people decide to rent having sold their home” she predicts.

More 2014 forecasts will appear on this blog from key agents and consultancies as they are released...

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