There’s no denying that flats are in abundance in London, with several new-build developments and older converted properties to choose from. If you are considering investing in a property in the UK capital, flats and apartments are available whether you are looking for a sleek, modern apartment or are interested in a quirky converted period building. But the huge differences in London property prices combined with a highly demand-driven market and high average price compared to the rest of the UK means that finding the right flat for you in London does not come without its challenges. London’s property market demands that buyers have a strong sense of perspective and balance; most buyers in London need to make concessions on factors such as the property’s features and location to find a flat that is within your budget. Here are some tips and ideas to help you find a London flat that suits your lifestyle at a price that you can afford.
What are the Additional Costs for a Flat in London?
Bear in mind that if you are planning to purchase a flat in London, it is most likely going to be a leasehold. This means that you will need to factor in further costs, such as an annual service charge to cover the shared area maintenance such as the grounds, hallway, and roof. You will also need to pay ground rent and will typically be expected to contribute towards the buildings’ insurance, which can be upwards of £100 per month in addition to your mortgage and other living costs.
Which Locations are the Best for a Flat in London?
If you’re looking for a flat in London, you have a wide range of locations to choose from. To find the right location for you, it’s key to do your research and be open-minded. Come up with a list of requirements when it comes to the features and amenities that you would like your ideal property to have, however, be prepared to compromise on some of them, as certain factors such as outdoor space can often significantly add to the property price. Get realistic about what’s a must-have and a nice-to-have and consider where you’ll be willing to compromise or go without in order to ensure that you can get a flat at a realistic price for your budget.
What to Look for When Purchasing a Flat in London?
Of course, a lot of the features that you want from your flat are going to be personal to you – but there are certain things that are definitely worth adding to your list of must-haves. Public transport availability is definitely a great example of this. To get around London easily it is essential to have access to a convenient public transport link. Most buyers are looking for an Underground or Overground station that they can easily walk to. However, the fact is that most other homebuyers in the capital will be looking for the same convenience, leading to flats near Tube stations selling for a premium. In fact, reports from 2013 found that buyers paid an additional average of £26,000 for a property within 500m of a London Underground station.
What Type of Flat in London Should You Buy?
The type of flat that you want to purchase in London is another area where it is ideal to keep as open a mind as you can. London has a seemingly never-ending variety of different property options on the market at any given time, from converted period townhouses to sleek, modern new-build developments and everything in between. Each type of flat in London has its own set of pros and cons, so pay a lot of attention to the specifications of each property, pay keen attention to the property when you view it, and always view the surveyor’s report.
If you’re a first-time buyer or otherwise on a tighter budget, consider investing in a flat or location in London that other homebuyers might avoid. For example, many buyers prefer to avoid investing in a property that is located on the main road, but could you live with that? Would you be happy to live in a flat above a takeaway or a shop? If you’re OK with some things that the average buyer might not view as being very desirable, it might be worth considering opting for this type of property as a way to take advantage of the lower demand and save money.
How to Find a Good Flat in London?
Finding a good flat in London at a price that is right for you is not always the easiest process. Firstly, check out listings in the capital to get a better idea of the locations that are likely to be more suitable for your budget and narrow down your options. Consider what you need from a flat – for example, the number of bedrooms, whether you want to buy a leasehold or share of freehold flat, location, proximity to local amenities, transport options, and anything else that you consider to be important to you. Consider which of these are non-negotiable, and which you would be willing to make compromises on.
Secondly, it’s worth thinking about your personal preferences for the type of flat that you would like to own. You should be open-minded here as it is unlikely that you might get a flat that ticks all the boxes for your budget unless you have unlimited money to spend. Consider factors such as the type of building, type of development, architectural features, size, and anything else that may be something you are looking for in a London flat.
Buying a Flat in London to Let:
Flats in London make an ideal buy-to-let investment opportunity due to the ever-increasing number of professionals relocating to the capital for work and in need of somewhere to live. Flats in prime locations close to public transport options and local amenities are in high demand among renters who often value convenience and proximity to their place of work above all other factors. If you’re a buy-to-let landlord, consider the rental value of the property in terms of location, appeal, and size. Consider whether you will rent to single people, couples, and small families or whether investing in a larger flat to rent as an HMO is a better option.
Where to Buy a Flat in London?
Some locations are better than others when it comes to purchasing a flat in London. Research has found that the top postcode for first-time flat buyers in London is HA0, an area in north-west London close to the North Circular Road, and home to major housing developments at both Alperton and Wembley. New homes have led to increased Help to Buy and Shared Ownership options, which is one of the main reasons why this area has become increasingly popular with first-time buyers.
For those looking to purchase an affordable flat in London, there are several locations that are worth considering. Bexley is one of the most affordable areas in the capital for homebuyers, with an average house price of £378k. Havering is another popular choice with an average home price of less than £400,000, and flats coming in even cheaper. Further areas to consider if you are looking for a more affordable flat option in the capital including Sutton, Bromley, Barking & Dagenham, Redbridge, Croydon, Hillingdon, and Harrow.
How Long to Sell a Flat in London?
One main question for many buyers in the capital, is how long will the property take to sell should it be put on the market in the future? If you are considering buying a property for the first time in London, it is worth considering the future – if you want to upgrade your flat or upgrade to a larger house, the time it takes to sell will depend on a number of factors including market conditions at the time of selling, the size and type of the flat for sale, the location, and more. However, the good news for flat buyers in London is that in general, London properties do tend to sell quite quickly. This is because the city is one that is in extremely high demand that is only expected to rise over time as more job opportunities come to London and more professionals continue to move to the capital for work.
If you are looking to invest in a property in London, there’s an abundance of flats available in the capital. Whether you want to purchase a flat in London for your first home or are considering a buy-to-let investment, there are many reasons why purchasing a flat in the UK capital is a wise investment idea. Not only is there a wide range of flats available in prime locations of London, but there are also several options in the more affordable London areas with something for everybody. Get in touch today to see how we can help you find and purchase your dream flat in the capital.