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LONDON PROPERTY

REVIEW

propertytalk The once humble terrace house is back in vogue, reports Cheryl Markosky

London Voice

Special report by Mark Redfern, Knight Frank partner and head of Kensington Sales

We feel positive that the final quarter of 2014 will be active and buoyant, and we are looking forward to an increase in transactions in both the house and flat markets. Market sentiment showed signs of caution in the summer months due to a backdrop of political and economic uncertainty. A mood of hesitation has also been caused by the pending general election next May, and the possibility of tax changes affecting high-value residential property. Political rhetoric is likely to continue throughout the remainder of the year. We do expect transaction levels to remain good, and pricing is key. If a vendor is realistic and the property is marketed at the right price, then it will sell. Demand from overseas remains constant for lateral flats and family houses in good condition as Kensington and

Holland Park continue to be highly soughtafter family orientated areas. Houses in excellent condition or those in need of total refurbishment are both always popular. Outside space is often preferred and offstreet parking is always a bonus. Our international desks remain very busy with enquires for properties both in Kensington and Holland Park. We find buyers fall into two categories: they are either time-poor and do not have time to carry out refurbishments, or they are looking to put their own stamp on their future home. We currently have excellent stock and we look forward to a busy end-quarter of 2014.

Terraced houses have outperformed all other types of housing over the past decade. According to Savills Research, the London terrace has shown the biggest increase in value by 92 per cent, compared to 73 per cent for detached houses and 70 per cent for flats. The most expensive average price for a terraced house varies from £3.8 million in Kensington & Chelsea to £62,000 in Burnley. Tim Fairweather of Sandfords Marylebone believes terraced homes have always held their appeal. “But since they now vary incredibly in size, style and location, they aren’t viewed as unassuming property anymore, attracting UK and worldwide buyers,” he said.  The modern terraced house can be beautiful as well as practical, from imposing Georgian townhouses to beautiful mews houses found in Marylebone, he adds.  “Shared walls, making the property incredibly efficient, is one reason why terraces are regarded as valuable,” Fairweather argues. Terraced homes come with character and style and are the most sought-after property in west London, Jamie Lester of Haus Properties suggests.  “They can be extended to the side, rear, loft and basement, which typically costs £250 to £300 per sq ft and substantially increases value. Terraces sell for £600 to £2000 per sq ft, offering a modernised home catering for large families.” James Bailey from Henry & James declares there’s nothing humble about terraces these days. “You have your own front door – it’s not a flat.” Chelsea boasts quite a number of terraces, where you pay a ‘snobby’ premium for an end-of-terrace offering more space, according to Bailey. “You’ll pay £2000 to £2500 per sq ft in SW3 for a terrace, and most purchasers are likely to dig down,” points out Bailey. Recently he sold a terrace in Belgravia’s Kinnerton Street for £2.5 million. “The new owner did it up and now it’s worth £3.25 million.” The idea of having a lease for just a finite number of years is alien to international buyers, so owning a terrace is more attractive, comments Jonathan Mount from The Buying Solution. “Compared to flats, being in control and not being restricted by a lease or what other owners in the building say boosts the popularity of a terraced house,” he adds. In terms of creating value within your terraced house, don’t do anything wildly different from the neighbours, advises Guy Meacock of Prime Purchase. “A basement will add lots of value, but get it projectmanaged to ensure a good job – and give yourself as much ceiling height as possible.”

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LPR Central November 2014