With years of experience in the property industry, the team at Capital Homes International is well positioned to find their clients the best properties available at any given time. Here, Carlo Nasti and Jonny Keightley—the firm’s directors—provide a glimpse into the burgeoning London market.
Please tell us about your firm.
We’ve been in business for five years and work with a range of clients including large-scale developers, funds and individuals looking for the perfect home. We are based in Central London and focus on offering top-level personal attention to our many prestigious clients, and we have no plans to change this business model. My partner Jonny and I work together on each transaction and will actively search for the right home for our buyers. Many, if not all, traditional agencies will only focus on properties that their firm is instructed to sell; however, we search the entire market to ensure that the buyer receives more options and ultimately finds the perfect property.
What trends are you seeing in pricing?
The average house price in London can vary depending on the location, style of property and whether the home is a freehold house or leasehold apartment/maisonette. In Prime Central London, you can expect to pay over £2,000 per square foot ($2,664 USD), but this can easily grow to £3,000 – £5,000-plus per square foot ($3,996 – $6,661 USD) for a unique apartment in the most prestigious location. Immediately outside of Prime Central London, in Zones 1 and 2, homes can be purchased for under £1,500 per square foot ($1,998 USD), with most properties being worth just over (or just under) £1,000 per square foot ($1,332 USD). The most affordable new builds in London will be found in Zones 3 outwards and can be purchased for as little as £550 per square foot ($666 USD). To put this into context, a well-known developer in the capital is currently selling one-bedroom apartments for £320,000 ($426,420 USD), two-bedroom apartments for £477,000 ($635,633 USD) and three-bedroom apartments for £525,000 ($699,596 USD).
Do these figures reflect a rise or decline in pricing?
The prices in London have been increasing throughout the pandemic due to many Londoners working from home and their need for more internal and external space. The demand for homes with a garden, large balcony or terrace has gone through the roof, with many buyers paying over the odds to secure a property in 2021. The activity levels this year remain high due to the large number of buyers looking to make a move and the lack of suitable homes currently available.
What is the state of inventory?
At the present time, agents are working hard on winning the right listings due to the lack of perfect homes for sale.
What types of properties do you sell, and which are most popular?
Apartments are the most common type of property we sell. A lot of our focus is on new-build developments, so naturally, most of these are located in the center of an urban area. A number of our investors look to purchase multiple units in the same development, as this offers a more straightforward investment for them.
What home features or amenities are especially popular with your buyers, and what other trends are you seeing?
Many of our purchasers are looking for a secure home with an onsite concierge service. The most important trend for our buyers is that a purchase represents good value for the money and that the acquisition will hold its value. Our clients are looking for more internal space, and since COVID, more usable outside space.
What are your biggest challenges/opportunities for growth?
Our biggest challenge is to source well-priced homes for our clients. With the stamp duty holiday ending in 2021, our biggest concern is the increase in Stamp Duty Tax for overseas investors and interest rates rising in the future.
Are you seeing much foreign investment—and, if so, from which countries?
From a purchase perspective, our clients are based in countries all over the world, and the interest from foreign buyers has always been high. At Capital Homes, we manage a portfolio of rented properties, which is predominantly owned by investors living in the UK, Europe and the Middle East.
What advice do you have for foreign buyers interested in buying in your area?
Instruct us to represent you on your purchase. Retaining a good local agent to represent you on a purchase has many benefits, as a buying agent will represent you (a purchaser) to agree to the lowest price possible. Traditional estate agents are paid by the seller, so they’re only working on the vendor’s behalf to achieve the highest price possible. A good buying agent will have suitable mortgage lenders, solicitors and accountants for you to choose from, and will be motivated to handle the entire transaction from finding a home, having an offer accepted, all the way to the legal completion.
What do you love most about living in your area?
London is a fantastic place to live, work or study. You can never be bored in this amazingly diverse city. From shopping, nightlife and entertainment to thousands of years of history and culture—and some of the best-known sights in the world—London has something for everyone.
How do you think being part of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) will help advance your business?
Being a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® brings us closer to other real estate agents who we would not know otherwise. LeadingRE also offers great training opportunities, as well as fantastic networking opportunities. We are delighted to be a member and look forward to being part of LeadingRE for many years to come.