*** What’s going on in Barbican property sales and lettings ***
It is difficult to square the pick-up in Barbican property prices – both sales and rental – with the statistics screaming that many City workers are still not coming back full-time. For example, a survey of UK & Ireland IT professionals by ComputerWeekly.com and TechTarget revealed that most IT staff are still in pyjamas. 77% of IT workers are now flexitime or work from home. 32% work from home all the time. On average, respondents worked from home 3.42 days per week. In saying that, of course, it depends on the role; I know that some of the traders and financial folk didn’t get to enjoy many pyjama days even during the pandemic because they were classed as key workers. It must be said that some financial firms were defining an unnecessarily large proportion of staff as “key workers” to ensure they could still come into the office or branch to work, according to a union at the time representing thousands of bank employees.
As much as one might like to avoid the politics on our Barbican Talk, the volume of rental enquiry posts speaks volumes. Since the summer issue of Barbican Life, there have been 15 posters searching for rental availability.
For sales, again we need look no further than Zoopla (which lags a little but is always worth the inspection). Published sales data since the summer issue:
Sale prices from Zoopla
LOCAL ESTATE AGENTS’ COMMENTS
Marco Fugaccia at Hurford Salvi Carr: Buyer registration for Barbican apartments remains energetic. The Barbican is certainly bucking trends compared to the surrounding area in the second quarter and we have many proceedable and very motivated buyers waiting for the right “type” to be available. Hurford Salvi Carr have recently released their bi-annual Research report which gives a factual and precise update on local market conditions. www.hurford-salvi-carr.co.uk
Tina Evans at Frank Harris: We have had a very busy few months with a number of our properties going to “Best and Final” offers. There is a real shortage of two-bedroom flats on the market, our recent listings of two bedrooms went under offer within a week. Predictions for the last quarter of the year are still positive with buyers looking to move before Christmas. The Barbican remains popular with both City professionals and people looking for a well-run estate. www.frankharris.co.uk
Nick Scott at Scott City: The sales market continues to improve with more confidence returning to the City by the week. The return to work having helped confidence in the City and especially the Barbican rental and sales market. There is a shortage of supply, and we are seeing an upward increase in values – something we haven’t experienced for quite a while. The opening of Crossrail in June has created a new awareness of the City with more demand for City living. www.scottcity.co.uk
Nicola Lee at Nicola Lee Ltd.: The Barbican Estate is as popular as ever. Some properties in good condition and in popular blocks have gone under offer at the asking price before we’ve even advertised them, and some have resulted in bidding wars. Residents have been in touch as, understandably. they are concerned over increased service charges. I am happy to talk this through with any residents with concerns, but we need to remind ourselves this is a global crisis that affects us all. Wherever we reside we will all have higher bills but that doesn’t mean that the Barbican is still not a great prospect. www.nicolalee.co.uk
Glen Cook of Hamilton Brooks: After seeing a record sales quarter with more sales than any other quarter in 35 years we have settled into a more stable pattern. The oversupply of stock we had has now been sold or under offer – we now have an undersupply. The normal summer City holidays have been a quiet period and we are hoping the lull is followed by an increase in buyer demand once the holiday season closes. An even larger return to City offices (as the working from home guidance seems to be ending for most large institutions) will lead to higher demand for both sales & rentals. We urgently need more apartments to sell – that is the message this quarter. www.hamiltonbrooks.co.uk
Marco Fugaccia: The letting sector continues to grow as it enters the summer and early autumn peak season. In fact, the level of demand from tenants is unbroken, with a relentless number of daily enquiries and prices now hitting an all-time high. We expect that this sector will continue to grow throughout 2022 and into 2023.
Eli Logavatu at Scott City: The rental market is still excellent with record rents being achieved, values now well in excess of the height of the market. The demand continues to increase as we see more people wanting to live close to their workplace. Back to work has increased our demand to a level we haven’t experienced before. We require new instructions for many waiting clients.
Lindsay Lee at Nicola Lee Ltd.: We are now in our busiest letting period. There are few properties available because no sooner than we list them they are let out – some even on the same day. Rents are at the highest they have ever been. If you have a property to let, please get in touch; we have no shortage of letting enquiries.
Glen Cook of Hamilton Brooks: It’s back to best bidding for rentals – very acute shortage of apartments being chased by an increasing return of workers and overseas students, making the perfect storm for rental increases.