What lies ahead for prime markets in 2024

Charles Leigh, sales director at Finchatton

How has the London prime residential property performed in 2023 and how do you think things will go in 2024?

The market had a challenging 2023, significantly impacted by events in Ukraine and the Middle East, along with escalating mortgage rates. Despite this, we have had a great year for sales at The Whiteley with 35 units exchanged and seven in legals.

The general election in 2024 will worry some, but property has traditionally performed well as an asset class under Labour. We believe any buyer hesitancy around the election will be offset by the fact that we will have finished product: people will be able to walk into the apartments they are buying. From a financing perspective, the view seems to be that borrowing rates are likely to fall slowly which will help the mortgage-related market and general sentiment.

What are your key trends and predictions for the luxury real estate market in 2024?

‘Location location location’ has always been the mantra when it comes to buying property. However, times are changing and we are increasingly seeing buyers making far more product-led decisions.

That being said, the appeal of London is undeniable. People love London for its luxury and international flavour, it’s connectivity, legal system and educational offering. It continues to evolve and thrive as a place to live, whether that’s the rebirth of the culinary scene or the opening of dozens of luxury hotels, of which I am proud to say The Whiteley will significantly contribute. I anticipate 2024 being a year where prime and super-prime buyers really lean into these new offerings and snap up real estate that gives them the luxury of a service-led lifestyle with the culture and privacy to match.

What insights can you share on the changing demographic of prime/super prime purchasers and their priorities when buying a home?

There’s much more focus on ESG these days. Buyers are genuinely interested in the sustainability of our development, rather than paying lip service.

Fewer buyers are insisting on buying a parking space. Some are saying ‘I’m not going to need parking, and nor is the person I sell to in 10+ years’ time’.

Buyer demographics are getting generally broader. Younger, an increasing number of women, more entrepreneurial, a greater focus on health and wellness, increasingly diverse businesses, those looking for ‘life in better balance’. There’s definitely fewer ‘men in finance’.

For international buyers looking to make a prime property move in London over the next 12 months, what would you advise?

It sounds logical, but if you’re buying somewhere to live, buy in a location where people live, as opposed to where people stay for a few days at a time.

Buy into a developer who has done it successfully time and time again. The ‘square foot’ of one developer with a track record will be more valuable than another’s – this will ultimately come down to quality of space, layout, volume and amenity offering.

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