Finding a bargain home in the capital seems the definition of Mission Impossible. With ever-rising prices, over-inflated offers, sealed bids and dwindling availability, it’s no wonder many home-seekers feel like self-destructing.

But one property guru claims to have spotted a way to unlock potential from the toughest trading London has even seen. Expert Sam Bains, a veteran of 20 years of the changing
fortunes of property, has identified opportunities to purchase local authority houses and flats as well former housing association stock that is coming onto the market at auctions around the capital
Chasing homes under the hammer can provide savings of up to 10% on current values with organisations looking to make quick sales.

“The huge rises in property prices has made it tough for buyers to get on the London ladder but it is still
possible to find somewhere if you are prepared to take time finding the right place and put
some effort into refurbishing,” said Sam Bains, who specializes in hunting down
hidden property gems for clients all over the world via her company Ultimate Connexions in Mayfair.
Sam is focused on rooting out bargains and perfectly matching properties to her global clients’
wish list and her antennae have been on high alert after shifts in government policy encouraging council to sell-off stock in high value areas. “I specialise in finding the right place for the right person at the right price. Many of my customers are wealthy but they still want a bargain so I’m used to hunting around,” she says.

“Some of these bargains may be in areas you have not considered before but it is worth getting in early as previously unsought-after pockets are rapidly rising in appeal and prestige.“It may seem counter- intuitive but there are still bargains to be found in central London. It could be as much as 10% less than the going rate which is vital for first time buyers or present a good investment opportunity.”
Former housing association flats in sought-after Shepherd’s Bush and Hampstead were recently listed at auction for £350,000 each. A flat in Kensington owned by Hammersmith & Fulham Council was sold at auction for £490,000 in March this year, some £35,000 below expected.

The average London house price has boomed to £592,763, reported Rightmove, while the UK average is at £184,464, according to Halifax figures in May.
Savills reported that London house price rises were expected to average out at around 15% for 2014 with the market slowing down significantly in 2015.

“It is still an upward surge but you can find bargains if you are prepared to stretch your search and research what is on offer,” adds Sam. “If you go direct through traditional estate agents you can get sucked into the bubble where you are only looking at properties with price tags that seem to keep rising even while you are looking around them. It is so satisfying finding a property for a first time buyer and knowing that sleuthing down something they can afford has helped them get on the ladder and build a future. A lot of people – property investors, high wealth individuals and bargain hunters – have succumbed to the feeling that there is little hope of value in London and that they will have to pay over the odds and hope the market continues to rise. I’ve proved that, providing you are prepared to look hard and see potential, you can find a property that will work for you and be a good investment.”

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