JLL Residential

Sales and lettings market comment, May 2017

London, 1 May 2017

This month, JLL's City, Stratford and Docklands specialists discuss the east London market.

JLL lettings teams across the UK had a very promising to start to the year, with Q1 2017 activity having notably increased versus our Q1 2016 key performance indicators. New applicant registrations are up 18%, with viewing levels increasing by 29%. Renewed applicant confidence in the lettings market, alongside an excellent choice of available properties is responsible for this strong demand, and gives us every reason to be optimistic about the market moving forward.

Perhaps the most important indicator of all is that, as a result of increased activity in early 2017, the number of lettings deals agreed jumped by an impressive 31%. In Stratford, Canary Wharf and the City, new tenancies increased by 46% when compared to Q1 2016 and by 52% when compared to Q4 2016.

This data clearly demonstrates a buoyant and stable lettings market. However, as always, it is important to remember the importance of competitive pricing.
Looking to Stratford’s rapidly growing sales market, applicant levels, new sales agreements and exchanges are all up when compared to the previous quarter and Q1 2016. There is still an undersupply of quality completed stock available in Stratford, meaning that well-presented properties get a lot of attention when they first come to market. In some cases offers above asking price have been achieved.

Overall applicants have tended to be better qualified than in Q4 last year, having done their research to understand what is possible and what they want. As we move into spring, activity levels show no sign of slowing down, giving us a positive outlook for Q2.

Sales activity in The City was particularly strong at the start of 2017, with monthly exchange figures showing consistency and a 2-3% average increase in agreed pricing especially in fringe areas. We also saw a record pounds-per-square-foot value achieved in the Heron Tower, Moorgate: £1732 psf for a superb one-bed property which sold for just under £1m, beating the previous record by 3.21%.

The biggest struggle of Q1 has been stock, with fewer properties coming onto the market compared to Q1 2016. We hope to see this improve as we enter the summer months, and with more prepared buyers searching we predict a busy Q2 and Q3.

New Developments
The City is also set to benefit from the completion of the most recent phase in Goodmans Fields, Catalina House, E1. The development’s high specification and fantastic on-site amenities have, unsurprisingly, proved very popular with tenants, who are keen to live in the development.

We look forward to the completion of Charlotte King Court, E2, the next phase of the Mettle & Poise, in Q2 of this year. Phase 1 of this boutique development was very successful in 2016 with a number of units letting pre-completion.