Lets begin by looking how the UK market as a whole has been moving ahead in leaps and bounds in 2020, despite a certain 8-letter word beginning with “P” being on everyone’s lips for most of the year. Property experts have been putting forward various reasons for the strength of the market but the UK Government has been doing its part by granting temporary relief on stamp duty payments until March 31st, 2020. Furthermore, in conjunction with lenders, “mortgage repayment holidays” have been granted so that homeowners are given a breathingspace whilst difficult times persist.
Having said this, certain boroughs in London have seen property prices become quite mixed with no clear direction. However, to be fair, the most expensive boroughs in the centre of capital have recorded price falls or sluggish growth over the past five years despite the issues faced in 2020. Indeed, in this period, house prices in Fulham have fallen by 4%, followed by Kensington and Chelsea by some 3%. By comparison, Westminster, the City, and Islington have all shown slow growth of 2-5%.
So, let’s look at the question in the title in a little more detail: Where next for the Fulham property market?
The Borough of Fulham is situated immediately north of the Thames in a “U” shaped bend of the river, with over half the district having river frontage. Fulham has a very mature prime housing market popular both with buyers and renters, who are mainly being young professionals and families in the age groups 30 – 60.
The Borough enjoys a reputation as a better value alternative to Chelsea, being not really that much further from Central London. Accordingly, Fulham has seen significant long-term price growth, outperforming many neighbouring locations, with the average property value increasing by over 600% over the last 20 years and by 112% over the last 10 years.
The vast majority of the housing stock is Victorian and Edwardian terraced, tree lined streets. Particularly popular are the so-called “Lion” houses, which are large red-bricked terraces characterised by lions on their gables.
Fulham owners tend to be long-term residents who prefer to extend and/or develop their homes rather than re-locate. Many of Fulham’s properties are much larger than their Chelsea neighbours, offering a higher ratio of houses to flats, and thus attracting growing families. The Borough’s vibrant array of bars, restaurants and shops also draws high-earning young professionals to the area, driving demand in the rental market and for new developments along the riverside.
In the prime Fulham market, almost 30% of buyers and nearly 40% of renters typically move from within the Hammersmith and Fulham boroughs. The area is also popular with residents moving from Central London for the extra space and sense of community, with around 25% of buyers and 18% of renters moved from the Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster boroughs into Fulham. In the Borough, there is already a strong rental market of high value. Generally, development in Fulham is on a smaller scale than seen elsewhere is London and ranges from large scale regeneration and riverside towers to smaller niche developments. Demand for property in Fulham is mainly from British people although there are a number of EU passport holders.
Fulham has an average property value of around £1,320,230 in December 2020. During the last year, flats were selling for an average price of £715,429, terraced properties an average of £1,486,981 and semi-detached properties some £2,285,733, with relatively little movement in prices overall. However, with a far better world and UK economic outlook for mid-2021, the prognosis for the Fulham property market is very good, provided the current stimuli for the UK continues as covid eases. Indeed, although the international buyer and investor is currently missing from the prime central London market, as the world starts to recover from Covid-19, this market is likely to bounce back first and be one of the strongest.
This means that perennially popular boroughs such as Fulham in close proximity to the city should be uniquely positioned to benefit from the upturn in values.
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