PHILIP’S BLOG 30/10/2014

centenary-receptionThe increasing power of downsizers.

One of the changing features of City life is the number of older residents who increasingly feel comfortable in the City Centre. We have noticed over the past few years an increasing trend of older singles & couples attracted to newer well located apartments and town houses closer to the facilities of the City . The combination of reasons from the ability to easily lock up & leave the property, knowing a porter can keep an eye out whilst they are away for part of the year travelling or indeed away to a second home in a sunnier climate .Another reason might be just moving away from a larger now largely empty suburban home with all its associated high annual maintenance costs and leaving the issues in future to managing agents. Another reason might be that friends & family members are now living in or near the City Centre or indeed that the City Centre is no longer feared as a centre of high crime and trouble.

This trend has been noticed by some developers who are now building larger apartments to cater for this audience, knowing that the buyers are buying for their long term residence and not merely looking to add the apartment at some point into a Buy to Let portfolio. The specification we notice hasn’t changed hugely but we do foresee changes and certainly when developers give the opportunity to buyers there are tweaks asked for, from increased storage to wider hallways. Certainly this audience now mustn’t be overlooked and in the very best locations we do expect to see more buyers fitting into this category. The attractiveness for developers is the price point and that invariably the buyers are not acquiring ‘subject to finance’. Sometimes there are related sales but in a market with a shortage of stock particularly of good family houses the sales are rarely holding up the purchases. On a current transaction the purchase has been made in advance of the sale so the rush & chaos of the completion isn’t going to happen and the buyer is planning to steadily move in over several months.

Within blocks these residents often do become involved in the resident groups and have both the time & the interest to ensure both that the blocks are maintained well but also that voices of the residents are properly heard by the managing agents

It’s a trend we expect to see continuing to grow.

Philip Jackson