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Over the past couple of years, many people have wholly evaluated how they live, and many homeowners moved out of towns and cities searching for space and greenery. Surrey, Berkshire and Hertfordshire are all seeing increased interest from buyers looking for prime property with excellent local amenities and easy connections into London, for example.
While open space and more extensive properties are one aspect of prime suburban allure, other factors are at play, especially in the home counties. It’s easy to see why. There are great schools in many areas, lots of leisure and entertainment facilities, plentiful health and wellness amenities as well as great restaurants and shops. These all tend to be a stone’s throw away from prime suburban areas in hotspot commuter towns.
If you have a young family, schools, in particular, will be a special point of consideration. The home counties are well-known for having many excellent schools on offer, which may influence where you prefer to buy a home as well as property prices.
Not needing to be in the office every day may also have opened new avenues of possibility regarding where you’re able to live comfortably and still commute into London when required. As a result, you may be exploring previously unconsidered towns and areas for a new property purchase. Where an hour’s commute used to be the maximum many buyers would consider, that’s now changed, and depending on the flexibility of your working situation and how often you need to work from the office, you may be able to consider living further away from London.
Price, too, is a factor. Even in the most affluent and sought-after suburbs and commuter towns, money stretches further than it does in the city. There are plenty of properties in the £1-£5 million range in areas around towns such as Ascot, Sevenoaks, East Molesey and Gerrards Cross, and this will typically buy a larger property with more outside space than you’d find for the equivalent price in London.
While you may be actively looking to move out of central London, others are keen to move in. Here, you may find that there are also other opportunities: keeping your London property as a buy-to-let investment and buying a new home outside London is one such possibility. In December 2021, Rokstone published a survey that noted that the number of tenants considering renting in Prime Central London had increased by 30% since June 2021. With Savills estimating that prime London rentals had risen by over 6.6% throughout 2021, letting prime property can be an alluring consideration for anyone owning real estate in central London that no longer wants to occupy it.
Buying in the home counties remains competitive, even for high-value properties. There can be less competition from cash buyers in this part of the market (particularly in the £2 million-plus space). However, securing financing offers quickly is critical to winning bids and keeping the process moving forward, completing a sale as quickly as possible.
Working with a finance broker that can bring everything together, secure offers quickly and get you the best deal will minimise the stress of buying prime property and save considerable time.
Most – if not all – high-value property buyers can benefit from a mortgage built around their needs rather than a package deal. While package deals can be a good fit for buyers in other parts of the market, you may find them inflexible or not as attractive as you’d like regarding terms or rates. Some mainstream lenders are also less able to negotiate than smaller niche or alternative lenders. Enness can take all your assets, wealth, income, and situation into consideration and then approach the lenders that are best placed to offer you the best finance package.
If you are looking to buy prime property, you may have more financing options than you realise. For example, you may be able to benefit from better rates if you put assets under management with a lender, or you could take advantage of a high LTV deal or even an interest-only mortgage. Every borrower is different, and the best deal for you is likely to depend on your requirements, net worth and situation. It is always worth exploring what is on offer in terms of financing products that may not be available to other borrowers in different parts of the market.
When it comes to high-value property finance, lenders often specialise in specific types of borrowers or financing in certain situations. Your bank can be a natural first port of call for a mortgage, but it is worth looking at what other lenders might offer as sometimes rates and terms can be more competitive. In other cases, you may find that your bank doesn’t provide mortgages or can’t provide a mortgage to you for any number of reasons.
Being turned down for lending does not mean that securing a mortgage is not possible – it is usually a case of needing to approach other lenders or institutions. This will be especially true if you have a ‘complex’ scenario (relatively low income, global assets, multi-currency income, you are self-employed) and so on. Whatever your circumstances, Enness will be able to approach the lenders that can provide you with a mortgage and will be able to negotiate a competitive deal.
However much you are looking to borrow and wherever you want to buy prime property, Enness can help source and negotiate competitive mortgage rates and terms. Get in touch for an informal chat about any questions you have or to discuss your plans.