Thinking of buying or selling in Islington? Read our Estate Agent's top tips

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By abi_silvester | Thursday, January 20, 2011, 11:43

Most of what we read about the housing market seems to be laden with doom and gloom, but according to Jeanpierre Kalebic; a property expert with over 10 years experience, there are some very positive trends emerging locally that make Islington a great place to set up home. His company, Fyfe McDade recently expanded into the area, so I put some questions to Jeanpierre to find out what would-be buyers and sellers in Islington need to know.

What interesting trends are you seeing in local property at the moment?

We are experiencing some very interesting and somewhat surprising trends actually, for instance, due to a shortage of properties on the market we’ve seen a re-emergence of the dreaded gazumping and it’s quite often that a correctly priced property will come to market and within a matter of days we’ll be accepting sealed bids and tying up a deal significantly over the asking price.

There’s also a good bit of downsizing taking place, partly due to the economic environment we’re experiencing which is causing people to look at outgoings in a much harsher light but also due to the more savvy property owners cashing in the not insignificant gains their properties have enjoyed over the past 12 months which can be partly attributed to a lack of available properties choking supply and pushing prices upwards.

What prompted you

to set up business in this area?

We

were already active in Islington from our Shoreditch and Bloomsbury

pitches, but felt that we needed an office on Upper Street to really

service the area properly. There is such a wonderful variety of housing

stock, from late Georgian/early Victorian town houses around beautiful

garden squares in Barnsbury to Art Deco inspired mansion blocks around

Canonbury to stunning waterside developments overlooking the canals,

that it was a naturally progressive move for the company.

How does the local housing market compare with the national picture?

Barring an unforeseen disaster matching the magnitude of the credit crunch, I don’t think Islington homeowners should be worried at all.

Thankfully, Central London has been pretty well insulated from the downturn in property prices the rest of the UK experienced in the wake of the credit crunch, and we would estimate that prices have now bounced back to their pre 2007 levels if not a little higher in some spots and they are still rising pretty strongly. This is fuelled by London ’s standing as the chief financial capital of the world resulting in a constant influx of money as the banks and financial services companies hire the best and brightest staff the rest of the world has to offer.

To highlight this, the banks’ bonus season is upon us once more and it is estimated over £7 billion will be handed out over the next month or so, much of which will find its way into London’s property market. Couple this with the severe shortage of suitable housing stock that’s being made available to buy and, subject to interest rates remaining low, I believe it is inevitable prices will continue on their upwards path for the near future at least.

What is your no.1 tip for prospective sellers to get interest from buyers at the moment?

To be honest, it’s the same now as it always is - be realistic about price and present the property in its best light. i.e. clean up, redecorate if need be, de-clutter and generally make it as easy as possible for prospective purchasers to imagine living there.

Depending on the property, if major refurbishment works are required, it may actually be better to offer the property to the market as an opportunity for an incoming purchaser to stamp their mark and refurbish to their own tastes. A good estate agent should be able to advise of the most appropriate course of action.

I'd love to live in Islington but don't think I can afford to buy or rent in the area. Any words of advice!?

Islington is a really great area and property prices reflect this fact, so it is pretty expensive, but that doesn’t mean there are no options for people like you. Widen your search a little and there are plenty of more reasonably priced properties to choose from. To the North and East of Islington for instance you’ll find areas like Highbury Fields and Canonbury which are both areas I’d be more than happy living in and a little further afield is Dalston which has been touted by most property journalists as London ’s hottest property hotspot for some time now yet prices are still very affordable.

Founded in 2007, in the wake of the Credit Crunch, Fyfe McDade’s first

office opened in Shoreditch. With an emphasis on customer

service rather than simply winning commissions, it has a reputation for its friendly and professional approach. Fyfe McDade's second office opened

in Bloomsbury last year and its owners are now putting the finishing touches to a third branch which is due to open on Upper Street by the end of

January.

      

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