Looking for a Christmas deal? Now’s the time to search for a new-build home as developers pay stamp duty and cut prices
As traditional as mince pies and Home Alone on the telly, the annual Christmas property price-cutting season is upon us.
Experts say this year’s triple whammy of the seasonal slowdown, the General Election and Brexit means there has never been a better time to do a deal on a new-build home.
Savvy buyers who get their ice skates on could own a new place at a hefty discount by the time Santa has been.
The final weeks of the year are a good time for buyers to haggle because there are fewer house hunters about.
“It’s one of the quieter periods in the home-selling calendar and so there can be more leeway when getting a deal over the line,” explains Michael Stone, founder and chief executive of London new homes specialist, Stone Real Estate.
Developers’ willingness to strike a deal in the run-up to Christmas is not so much an outbreak of charity as a need to meet sales quotas before the end of the year.
“Agents and developers are often working extra hard to meet targets, meaning more incentives are available to buyers,” says Karrina Oki, sales and marketing director at Pentland Homes.
However, buying agent Sara Ransom of Stacks Property Search thinks the window for bargain hunting is likely to be short.
“Once the election is over developers may well wait for an uplift in the market from buyers who have been holding back,” she says.
Right now, though, discounts are offered at all ends of the market, by builders large and small, and savings range from tens of thousands of pounds to hundreds of thousands.
From £123,750: shared-ownership flats at Ternary Place in Ealing, where deals include a year’s service charge paid
The developers making savings on new-builds
In Bayswater W2, Chestertons has just cut the price of a luxurious three-bedroom flat with a cinema room and terrace in a boutique development in Porchester Road from £2.5 million to £2.25 million — a saving of a cool £250,000.
At the other end of the market, in regenerating Poplar, Galliard Homes’ riverside development Orchard Wharf is under construction on a site five minutes’ walk from East India DLR station.
After a reassessment, prices at the site, which will complete in 2021, have been dropped, with one-bedroom flats reduced from £499,000 to £460,000, and two-bedroom flats down from £699,000 to £665,000.
Meanwhile, the company is also accepting offers “around eight per cent” lower than list prices at Trilogy, its boutique development in Borough.
Brochure prices start from £775,000 for a one-bedroom flat so an eight per cent price cut would represent a saving of £62,000.
Many developers not cutting prices are offering discounts by other means, with freebies for buyers ranging from having their stamp duty paid to free furnishings.
At Ternary Place in Ealing, buyers who reserve before Christmas will get extras worth up to £2,000, including no service charge for the first year and vouchers for grocery shopping and furniture.
Prices start at £440,000, and there is also the option of buying a 30 per cent share of a home, priced from £123,750.
Freebies and price cuts are also up for grabs at Club 45 on the 45th floor, the penthouse floor, of landmark Pan Peninsula tower in Canary Wharf.
Originally listed at £850,000, the final home, a one-bedroom property, has now been cut to £799,999.
The buyer will also be let off the first year’s service charge of £9,400 and have their legal costs paid.