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We're two months in to 2017 now and the spring sunshine is beaming down on homeowners, property seekers and estate agency professionals. After an eventful 2016 for the property sector, anyone who is involved in selling, buying or letting property will be pleased with the relatively unremarkable changes in the market during the last month, after a strong January.


The lettings market in West London has featured some interesting contrasts in February. Some areas have seen a consistent level of new stock coming to the market which meets the demand from prospective tenants. This in turn has kept prices achievable for tenants and satisfactory for landlords. In other areas of West London, renewal rates have increased, which is caused by two main factors. Firstly, tenants are very happy in both their property and the area in general, and they are eager to remain in the property that has become their home. Secondly, landlords are keen to continue the relationship they have with their tenants, safe in the knowledge that their property is well looked after and they have a secure rental income.


Whether a landlord has a tenant in place or not, by keeping their price expectations realistic they can confidently balance their finances by either agreeing a new tenancy or extending their existing agreement.


In February there was a significant rise in higher value property coming to the sales market, which has increased the average asking prices for the month. In contrast to this, London's sales market has seen the largest year-on-year fall since 2011 with a 0.4% decrease in average asking prices compared with February 2016. The average price of a property within the M25 is now �643,843 compared with a national average of �306,231. Typically properties take longer to sell in the winter months so as the days become longer, more buyers are out viewing in the evenings after work and more sales are agreed as a result.


At Thorgills, 2017 has started well for our sales division. We have been instructed to sell more properties so far this year than in the same period last year, and the quality of buyer enquiries is improving week by week. Buyers who began looking for a property at the start of the year will have refined their search criteria after seeing a number of properties and, now that they know exactly what they want and how scarce it is, they are making decisive and competitive offers to buy. As a result we agreed a record number of sales in February, with many of these sales being at record prices for the street or block.


After the stamp duty changes last year, fortunately 2017's Spring Budget contained no bad property-related news. Increasing government support for first time buyers to save for a deposit is slowly enabling more first time buyers to make a purchase earlier than they may have feared, although it is still a tough challenge for young professionals in London to make the leap from renting to owning a property.


As the months pass with little drama in the property market, confidence amongst all involved in moving home steadily increases. Improved confidence will undoubtedly lead to more activity, and more activity is bound to lead to a more buoyant market. Long may the sun shine on the West London property market!


Average marketing prices for February (based on Zoopla data)


Sales 1 Bed 2 Bed 3 Bed 4 Bed 5 Bed
Chiswick £ 444,218 (-2%) £ 682,430 (+1%) £ 1,061,942 (+3%) £ 1,453,032 (-1%) £ 2,030,725 (+4%)
Ealing £ 464,533 (+1%) £ 600,719 (+1%) £ 809,493 (-) £ 1,083,503 (-2%) £ 1,589,678 (+1%)
Brentford £ 467,340 (+2%) £ 616,334 (-3%) £ 813,993 (-) £ 1,006,075 (-5%) N/A
Hammersmith £ 616,211 (-3%) £ 1,039,240 (-) £ 1,715,922 (+4%) £ 1,523,958 (+4%) £ 2,996,495 (+3%)


Lettings (pcm) 1 Bed 2 Bed 3 Bed 4 Bed 5 Bed
Chiswick £ 1,629 (-) £ 2,099 (-3%) £ 2,936 (+1%) £ 4,044 (+1%) £ 4,952 (+4%)
Ealing £ 1,349 (+1%) £ 1,788 (-1%) £ 2,742 (+5%) £ 2,825 (-3%) £ 4,604 (+4%)
Brentford £ 1,477 (+2%) £ 2,062 (+1%) £ 2,853 (-1%) £ 2,082 (-9%) £ 3,101 (+5%)
Hammersmith £ 1,925 (+22%) £ 2,693 (+13%) £ 3,770 (-2%) £ 3,792 (-7%) £ 4,326 (-1%)