Property Reporter – Homebuyers Choosing Property Over Location

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Inner London has entered a ‘post-gentrification era’ where property and not location reigns supreme, according to new research by London estate agency James Pendleton.

The firm, which covers prime property hotspots such as Chelsea, Fulham and Wandsworth, has seen a 30% rise in the number of households buying outside the area they initially register in.

Buyers almost always sign up with agents in the area they wish to purchase. However, in the past five years, the number of people registering in one James Pendleton branch before going on to buy in another has risen from 55% to 72%, a rise of almost a third.

The firm is seeing a greater preference for type and size of property than ever before, with location relegated to a secondary consideration in ‘post-gentrification’ inner London — where every area has passed a “critical mass” of demand.

One of the latest areas to demonstrate a dramatic transformation in recent years is Brixton where, across Lambeth, average prices have surged to an average £512,409 compared with £279,673 just ten years earlier – a rise of 83.2%.

This compares with a rise of just 20.8% across the UK, which has seen average prices rise from £178,636 to £215,847 in the same period.

Lucy Pendleton, Founder Director of James Pendleton, said: “In inner London, ‘location, location, location’ has become ‘property, property, property’. In the post-gentrification era, the right home is far more important than where it happens to be.

“Demand in inner London has reached such a critical mass that gentrification is no longer relevant. Everywhere is gentrified, everywhere has ‘come up’. This is giving buyers the confidence to branch out into virtually all residential areas in inner London.

“What we are also seeing is that the premium being charged in traditionally sought-after areas, where prices are typically higher, can no longer be justified based on the local environment alone. Widespread gentrification over the past decade has created a much more level playing field.

“We’re seeing people registering in Chelsea before buying in Battersea, and beginning their search in Fulham then moving to Tooting. It’s fascinating to watch and hugely significant for the London market where prices are expected to be cushioned by unusually strong demand.

“But this phenomenon also creates a real affordability problem for people on lower incomes and with smaller budgets.

“These households are at increasing risk of being squeezed out of inner London, having to travel closer to the Greater London boundary and beyond to find homes they can afford.”