Ashley, Martin and John
Three key members of the Horton and Garton team reflect on a challenging period for West London property and forecast a more positive year ahead
Are you thinking of buying, selling or renting in Hammersmith, Shepherd’s Bush or Chiswick? Owner and Director John Horton, Sales Manager Martin Clements and Lettings Manager Ashley Clements look back at recent trends in the property market and peer into their crystal balls to assess what’s in store for 2019.
Experience and local knowledge matter…
‘Despite the frequent reports of adverse conditions due to Brexit worries, last year Horton and Garton continued to expand its market share in all sectors. For us, like every growing business, it’s the number-crunching detail that counts – and both our Hammersmith/Shepherd’s Bush and Chiswick sales and lettings teams have been the local leaders over the past 12 months. You know you’re doing well when you hear competitors complimenting your track record!
We recently celebrated ten years at our King Street office and the level of experience and local knowledge within our team (that’s decades in my case!) gives us a clearcompetitive edge in guiding and advising sellers and landlords through a complex, rapidly evolving market. Most importantly, we’ve found that clients appreciate our honest, informed approach; we always tell them what they need to hear – not what they want to hear.’
Spotlight on sales…
‘I’m pleased to report that Horton and Garton enjoyed a record year in 2018. While prices have softened since June 2016, the demand for family homes remains strong. With the lure of outstanding schools and excellent transports links, families continue to be drawn to Hammersmith and Shepherd’s Bush.
Stamp duty savings for first-time buyers played a role in an increase in flat sales up to the value £500,000. Prices are now at a level where purchasers feel more comfortable. There is still, however, a shortage of Buy to Let and second home purchasers; many are reticent to part with an additional three percent in stamp duty in a market where prices have been sliding.
What are the prospects for 2019? As ever, accurate pricing is essential if sellers are to realise the highest price – and this depends on the local know-how of the agent. An honest list price will achieve market value and above, while unrealistic valuations will lead to price reductions and, in the long term, deflate a property’s real value.’
The lowdown on lettings…
‘Last year the lettings market faced a unique challenge with Brexit uncertainty impacting on rental values, sometimes by up to 10 per cent. A correction had always been on the horizon as rents continued to rise far quicker than average salaries in London.
The experience of building our business enabled us to be flexible, drawing on alternative marketing strategies to assist clients. We are now in a stable position: 2018 was a record year with more lets agreed and an enhanced market share. We operate in an area which offers excellent Buy to Let opportunities with, typically, no void periods and proven reliability for capital growth.
I believe that 2019 will continue to be a busy time for lettings, with many people preferring to rent while they await clarity on Brexit. For our landlords, new legislation will be a key focus; changes to the tenant fee ban, landlord licensing and tax adjustments will come into play. The lettings team know all of our clients personally. We provide an independent service and we’ll do everything we can to make being a landlord rewarding.’
Horton and Garton
176 King Street,
Hammersmith, W6 0RA