One-on-one interview: Stuart Patterson, director of Patterson Bowe estate agents
This week, we discuss the London property market with Stuart Patterson, director of Patterson Bowe estate agents, which covers Knightsbridge, Chelsea, Kensington, Belgravia, Mayfair and Central London.
What makes central London a great place to live?
London is a very exciting vibrant city and is seen by many as the number one city in the world. It attracts visitors fascinated by its history, its unique culture, its cutting edge art, music and theatre, architecture old and new, as well as its multicultural tolerant society. Of course our Monarchy sets it apart from anywhere else and is a continual attraction. To live here is constantly stimulating, and there are opportunities for peaceful living in the city's many “village” areas.
How long has your firm been selling properties in prime central London?
We have been selling properties since 2008 after expanding from our successful lettings business established in 1991.
Property prices in London have surged in recent years, what’s fuelling growth?
Without doubt, overseas investors are attracted to London as a safe haven and it has a relatively benign tax regime despite recent changes.
Is there further room for property price rises or is the market finally slowing?
The market slowed recently before the election and the hike in stamp duty will take time to be absorbed into the market. I can see no reason why London will not continue to be a very popular place to live in, offering a stable economy and currency.
How much would a flat typically start from to buy?
Flats start in the region of £750,000 for a studio flat and rise rapidly thereafter.
Have you noticed any particular buying trends recently?
Overseas buyers and buy-to-let investors are concentrating on the sub-£2m flat market. Traditional tall London houses are less popular than they used to be as buyers have moved to a more lateral lifestyle.
What’s your property market prediction for the rest of 2015?
A static market as the effects of stamp duty are absorbed into the market followed by a period of lower but steady growth over the next five years. London will always be a safe haven for overseas investors, particularly given the current instability of the Middle East and also Euro concerns. Also there is an attraction for UK residents to move to London, as althoughit is an expensive place to live in it provides plenty of career opportunities. Property is always in demand.