Online House Hunter: Capital gains
LUCKY London – if you’re the owner of property there. While the rest of the country is seeing ‘get real’ adjustments and a fall in house prices, London is seeing a rise.
The latest Land Registry figures may lag a month behind most other surveys but they are perceived as more reliable and confirm a growing boom in the London housing market.
In May, London house prices rose by 0.2 per cent month-on-month and by 2.9 per cent on last year. But London’s a big place and you’re only sitting pretty if you’re in the right borough.
Islington saw an 8.5 per cent annual rise in prices. That’s a figure that hasn’t been seen since the heady days of 2007 when even the most incompetent DIY-er was making a hash of some period property on TV but still walking off with profits in the tens of thousands.
Peter Rollings, CEO of estate agent Marsh & Parsons, said of the London bubble: “In prime parts of the capital, buyers are a healthy mixture of cash investors and those with hefty deposits – immune to the ongoing mortgage draught. As a result, competition for each home has actually climbed to a level not seen since 2007.
“With stock on the market still limited, prime prices keep climbing – an increase rippling out to the rest of London market. In Kensington and Chelsea alone, sales prices rose by 6.2% – twice the average growth for London’s market. That being the case, London represents excellent value for those looking to invest – especially for overseas buyers who can exploit the relative weakness of sterling against the dollar and euro.”
But the Land Registry figures reveal a mixed picture across the other boroughs in London.
The borough of Bexley on the border with Kent saw the annual house price drop by 3.4 per cent – the average house price now being £223,528 (down from £231,349 in May 2010).
Tower Hamlets pulled off a 3.8 per cent increase year-on-year, the average house price is now £355,236.
The Barking and Dagenham borough has seen house prices bounce up and down like a yo-yo over the last year. May’s figure was down 0.1 per cent on a year ago but has seen annual rises of six or eight per cent during previous months.
Hounslow in the West continues to withstand the national lethargy. In May the borough pulled in a 0.5 per cent month on month increase in house prices – five per cent up on May of 2010.
The missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle is the sales volume (the latest figures from the Land Registry are for March 2011) – are drops in house prices encouraging more buyers to the market place? Only time will tell.
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- Independent: Prices and sales decline
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