From Cinderella to Snow White, Jack and the Beanstalk and Aladdin, Wimbledon Theatre has a long history of staging family-friendly Christmas pantomimes. And this year’s production of Peter Pan with Hollywood star Verne Troyer promises to continue this tradition.
Another favourite activity at this time of year, among property investors at least, is trying to predict whether values will rise or fall over the next 12 months.
As estate agents with an in-depth knowledge of Wimbledon Village and the surrounding areas, we do not have access to the Bank of England so we don’t know when – or if – Governor Mark Carney will increase the base rate in 2016.
Nor do we have a hotline to government policy-makers, so we cannot say for certain whether London’s economic prosperity will continue over the next 525,600 minutes.
But we can borrow some of the characters who have appeared at Wimbledon Theatre to help give our annual look into the future a festive feel.
The Conservative Party’s victory in the General Election back in May gave the London property market a much-needed shot in the arm but fears that values will fall during 2016 were raised last month when Chancellor George Osborne used his Autumn Statement speech to slap an additional 3% stamp duty on properties being bought by landlords as buy-to-let investments.
The building of 400,000 new homes by 2020, also announced by the Chancellor, will do little to improve the supply of housing in London, and Wimbledon in particular.
And while any increase in the BoE’s base rate will not go down well with mortgage holders and future borrowers, a small rise is unlikely to destabilise the London property market.
House price grow by more than 10%
As the story of Dick Whittington proclaimed in the 1600s, London’s streets are paved with gold. And that was certainly true this year, with property values in Wimbledon and many other parts of the capital rising by more than 10%.
The popularity of Wimbledon and its surrounding districts is easy to understand. Not only is Wimbledon Village the part of London where town meets country, many of the homes here have ample parking space and the local leisure facilities are unbeatable. But this is not the only reason why the value of property in SW19 will continue to rise.
London has a chronic shortage of homes and the capital’s population is predicted to swell to more than 10 million over the next 15 years. Coping with this alone, would call for a 65,000 homes per year to be built in London.
The capital will suffer from a shortage of housing all the time demand for homes in London outstrips supply. And home hunters in Wimbledon are in an excellent position to benefit from this city’s position as a global economic powerhouse.
But don’t take our word for it. The average home in Wimbledon Village will cost more than £5m by 2030, according to analysis by global growth forecaster Oxford Economics, as strong jobs growth and a chronic housing shortage continues to push up prices.
That view is supported by the Council of Mortgage Lenders. In November, CML director general Paul Smee said that after a slow start to 2015 the mortgage market is now firmly on an upward trajectory.
“With competitive rates and high levels of product choice currently available, alongside generally improving economic conditions, we expect this to continue as we head into the New Year,” he said.
But Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a villain. And this year Swiss Bank UBS has taken on the role of Scrooge.
UBS is claiming the London housing market has formed the world’s biggest house price bubble and is predicting a correction of 30% in the near future.
Before we toast a successful 2015 with a glass of Wimbledon Brewery’s excellent Commons Ale and look forward to an equally buoyant property market over the next 12 months, Robert Holmes & Co would like to remind UBS of one thing…
…Confidence is the lifeblood of the London property market. And London is entering 2016 in a very confident mood. If you are considering entering the property market in 2016, contact Robert Holmes & Co for honest advice about buying, selling, letting or renting in Wimbledon Village.