The latest round of house price data shows that while property prices in the capital are just about treading water, they are still a long way from the huge increases that were so common in the years leading up to the Brexit vote. However, in a reversal of fortunes, property prices in northern England are making good gains as buyers and investors take advantage of the value for money that’s available there.
The different indexes highlight that house price growth in London and the south is falling far short of the popular regions in the north west and north east of England.
“London house prices have been hard for many people to afford for many years and it seems that now, fewer people are willing to pay the much higher prices for the typically smaller homes that are on offer,” said Knightsbridge estate agent, Plaza Estates. “And while some recovery in house prices is anticipated further out, it’s likely to be a long way from the double-digit rises that helped propel London and the south east to the dizzy heights they reached in 2015-16.”
London house prices fall
According to data from the LSL/Acadata house price survey, London property prices fell 0.8% in January from February and were 2.6% lower on a year-on-year basis.
The Rightmove index for March, meanwhile, records a 0.6% monthly gain in the average asking price but a 0.6% annual decline.
The outlier is the Hometrack cities index which places London house prices 0.2% higher on the month in January, also reports a 0.2% gain in the three months to January compared with the three months to October and a 1.6% increase compared with January 2017.
All of these indexes show that London house price moves are below much of the rest of the country.
North west England is faring pretty well, with the LSL/Acadata survey showing a 4.6% increase there, pushing the average price to a new peak at the beginning of the year. Hometrack figures show that in Manchester house prices are 7% higher compared with a year ago and in Liverpool, the average annual house price gain is 6.1%.
“London house price growth is far behind some of the other cities and regions around the UK although for many London home owners who are trying to sell, if they don’t get the price they want, they’re simply staying put – for now at least,” said LDG.
Moving the focus into London for moment, Rightmove’s data shows quite the mixture, on a borough-by-borough level.
In Bexley, which is at the furthest south east edge of greater London, the average asking price in early March was £409,420 – a 0.3% rise from February and a 3% increase from March 2017. Only nine boroughs in total experienced a higher average asking price in March this year than a year earlier.
Looking at the other end of the scale, the biggest declines on an annual basis were:
- Richmond on Thames -5.4%YY.
- Westminster -4.6%YY.
- Lambeth -4.2%YY.
- Harrow -3.5%YY.
- Camden -3.1%YY.
“London property prices are generally at a level that is still too far out of reach, particularly at this time of Brexit-related uncertainty and news that a variety of businesses will move their current London-based headquarters to mainland Europe,” said Andrew Reeves. “But, London’s loss has become northern England’s gain – at least for home-owners, home-buyers might not feel as happy about the change in fortunes of property there.”