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Merton leads London house prices higher as buyers seek space

House prices in the south-western boroughs of Merton and Sutton rose at the fastest pace in London in the year to July as buyers looked for more space during the coronavirus pandemic, according to exclusive analysis by property website Zoopla for City A.M.

Prices barely budged in the borough of Hillingdon on the western edge of the capital and in Enfield in north London, however, reflecting the uneven effect of Covid-19 on the city’s property market.

Zoopla’s new analysis of its latest house price index showed that prices jumped 3.2 per cent in Merton the year to July and 3.1 per cent in Sutton. That was well above the UK average of 2.5 per cent.

In joint third place were Newham in east London, Haringey in north east, and Wandsworth in south west, where prices climbed 2.7 per cent.

Grainne Gilmore, head of research at Zoopla, told City A.M.: “We have seen rising demand for three-bed homes and larger houses in London. And the availability of this type of stock, across a wider range of price bands, is reflected in these locations.”

Stamp duty holiday boosts London house prices

UK house prices have soared to record highs in the wake of the coronavirus lockdowns, even as the country’s economy suffers its worst year in memory.

Pent-up demand – which accumulated while the property market was frozen in April and May – and the government’s stamp duty holiday have massively boosted the market.

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Zoopla said the stamp duty holiday, which raised the payment threshold to £500,000 until March, had lifted London sales by 27 per cent. Yet its analysis showed that the effect on the capital’s housing market has been uneven.

Hillingdon and Enfield were the least desirable for new buyers over the last year. Prices rose just 0.3 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively.

Gilmore said: “While we are seeing demand outstrip supply in many areas, putting upward pressure on prices, this is happening to different extents in different localities.”

Harrow saw the third smallest rise with 0.9 per cent growth. Ealing was next with one per cent growth and Bromley had the fifth-smallest increase, of 1.1 per cent.

“We are also seeing the effects of a ‘one-off’ shift after lockdown, with demand from households who have reassessed how and where they want to live,” Gilmore added.

Analysts and estate agents have reported that buyers are looking for gardens and properties near parks, as well as more space.

Kensington and Chelsea the priciest borough

London house prices on average grew by 2.4 per cent in the year to July. It outpaced other areas in the south of England such as the south east, which saw 1.2 per cent growth.

However, regions in the north of England achieved the strongest growth. Yorkshire and the Humber and the north west both saw prices increase 3.2 per cent.

The price discrepancy between London’s different areas remained huge in July, Zoopla’s data showed.

In Kensington and Chelsea, where prices grew two per cent in the year to July, the average house cost £1,170,700.

Westminster was the second-most expensive, with the average property worth £955,000. House prices grew 1.8 per cent over the year in the borough. The City of London, where prices climbed 2.2 per cent, was third with an average price of £786,400.

Barking and Dagenham was the cheapest borough, with the average house costing £293,000. Bexley was second cheapest, at £344,700, while Havering came in third, at £366,800.

What happened to house prices in your London borough?

London boroughCurrent priceQuarterly changeAnnual change to July
Merton £507,4890.8%3.2%
Sutton £394,2400.3%3.1%
Newham £374,6990.7%2.7%
Haringey £512,1140.3%2.7%
Wandsworth £626,2500.7%2.7%
Lambeth £525,4740.7%2.6%
Waltham Forest £445,1100.8%2.6%
UK£217,5280.6%2.6%
Croydon £375,7490.9%2.6%
Havering £366,7960.8%2.5%
Barking and Dagenham £293,0380.8%2.5%
Southwark £487,8770.5%2.5%
Greenwich £376,6450.3%2.4%
Lewisham £413,8030.3%2.4%
Islington £602,6250.4%2.4%
Kingston upon Thames £515,1660.9%2.3%
Hackney £528,1780.8%2.2%
City of London£786,376-0.1%2.2%
Hammersmith and Fulham £715,2140.3%2.1%
Kensington and Chelsea £1,170,6620.3%2.0%
Tower Hamlets £460,5190.8%2.0%
Richmond upon Thames £698,0550.3%1.8%
Hounslow £424,0550.3%1.8%
Westminster £954,9910.1%1.8%
Redbridge £425,180-0.3%1.7%
Bexley £344,6880.7%1.7%
Brent £485,7500.2%1.4%
Camden £722,3230.1%1.4%
Barnet £537,8900.1%1.3%
Bromley £460,2430.5%1.1%
Ealing £477,3890.1%1.0%
Harrow £471,8930.5%0.9%
Enfield £403,0360.8%0.4%
Hillingdon £412,708-0.2%0.3%

Source: Exclusive Zoopla house price index analysis for City A.M.

By Harry Robertson

Source: City AM

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Stamp duty cut sees London house sales rocket 27 per cent

The stamp duty holiday has significantly boosted London’s housing market, with new sales agreed up by over a quarter in just two weeks, new data has shown.

UK house prices rose 0.2 per cent in June as a jump in demand for houses outstripped a fall in the number of sellers, the figures also showed.

But the market has still taken a big hit this year, said property website Zoopla, which compiled the data. Housing sales in 2020 so far are around 20 per cent below the same period in 2019, amounting to around £27bn in lost deals.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak earlier this month unveiled a “holiday” for the payment of the stamp duty property tax in a bid to boost the market and the economy. This raised the threshold at which stamp duty is paid from £125,000 to £500,000 until March 2021.

The move has spurred activity in London, according to Zoopla’s data, with new sales agreed up 27 per cent over the last two weeks. That compares to a six per cent rise across the rest of the country.

Zoopla said this was because London’s higher house prices meant it stood to benefit relatively more from an increase in the tax threshold.

London and UK house prices continue to rise

Overall, London house prices rose 1.7 per cent in June – before the stamp duty cut came in – compared to a year earlier.

Month on month prices flatlined. This meant the average London house price stood at £479,300.

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UK house prices as a whole were up 2.7 per cent year on year, although the monthly growth rate halved to 0.2 per cent. The average UK house price is £219,500.

The rise in prices “certainly seems at odds” with a cratering economy and rising unemployment, said Richard Donnell, Zoopla’s research director.

Yet he said the release of pent-up demand for new houses after the market was put on ice during lockdown would likely support prices for the rest of the year.

In London, buyer demand is up 28 per cent in 2020 so far compared to the same period a year earlier. This was partly because Brexit subdued activity last year.

Supply has fallen 11.2 per cent, however, meaning relatively higher demand is pushing up prices.

House prices expected to fall by 2021

But Zoopla said prices were likely to eventually fall as job losses and uncertainty take a toll.

“We expect rising unemployment to weigh on market activity over the final quarter of 2020 and into the first half of 2021,” Donnell said.

“The impact on pricing looks set to be pushed into 2021 as a result of sizable government support for the economy.”

However, Zoopla’s data laid bare the damage that has already been done to the housing market, despite London and UK activity being boosted by the stamp duty cut.

The closure of estate agents over the lockdown reduced new supply and agreed sales by 90 per cent.

So far this year, sales are 20 per cent below 2019 levels. Roughly 124,000 sales that were expected to take place and could have been worth £27bn since March did not happen.

Zoopla said it expects sales to be around 15 per cent lower in 2020 than they were last year.

By Harry Robertson

Source: City AM

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London house prices increase at fastest rate since 2016

London house prices jumped by nearly 5% in the year to March, the fastest rate of annual growth in the capital since 2016, according to official figures.

Prices in the capital increased by 4.7% to reach £486,000 on average.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS), which released the figures jointly with the Land Registry, said it was the biggest 12-month growth London has seen since December 2016.

Its report said: “There is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that the period between December 2019 and March 2020 has brought more certainty to the market than in previous quarters, which may have boosted transactions at the top end of the price scale.”

Across the UK, the average price in March was £232,000, a £5,000 increase compared with March 2019.

Housing market experts have previously suggested December’s general election result brought more confidence to the market, although that was before the impact of coronavirus.

The data used for the March index does not reflect the impact of coronavirus on the market, the ONS said. The figures used are based on completed house sales, which can take up to two months to go through.

The market has effectively been shut down in recent weeks and only started to reopen in England last week, with stringent guidance in place for home movers and property professionals to protect people from coronavirus.

The ONS said that, from the April figures which were due to be released next month, the official house price index will be suspended until further notice.

It said: “The impact of the coronavirus is expected to greatly reduce the amount of housing transactions that took place in April 2020, making it very difficult to produce a measure of UK house prices that would be representative of any true transaction activity within the housing market.”

It also cautioned that there may be some volatility in its March figures, due to fewer transactions taking place.

The March figures also show that average prices increased over the year in England to £248,000 (2.2%), in Wales to £162,000 (1.1%), in Scotland to £152,000 (1.5%) and in Northern Ireland to £141,000 (3.8%).

The English region with the weakest annual growth in March was Yorkshire and the Humber, where prices fell 1%.

The North East continued to have the lowest average price, at £127,000, and is the only English region yet to surpass its pre-economic downturn peak of July 2007.

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said the March pick-up “reflected post-election momentum in the market, not resilience in the face of the Covid-19 shock”.

He added: “Year-over-year growth in house prices was strongest of all in London; the 4.7% rate was the biggest gain since December 2016 and put a stop to a three-year period of prices in the capital underperforming the national market.

“The market in the capital might have been buoyed by the Conservatives’ threat of increasing stamp duty for non-resident buyers of UK property soon, as well as the reduction in near-term Brexit risk.”

Mr Tombs said that when the index is produced again after the temporary suspension, “we expect prices to be about three to 5% below March’s level”.

He added: “Lenders are pulling back from high loan-to-value ratio lending, and the forthcoming rise in unemployment will force some home owners to sell up.

“That said, forced sales should be less numerous than during the last recession, as home ownership has declined, especially among low-paid workers who usually are more vulnerable to losing their jobs in a downturn.

“And the pullback in lending should be relatively mild, given that banks are well-capitalised and are incentivised by the new Term Funding Scheme to increase the size of their loan books.”

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), said: “Not surprisingly, this is the last of these reports for a while until sales begin to pick up, and certainly on the ground we are finding that although activity is starting to gain momentum now we are returning to work, it will be some time before it is sufficient to give some credence to these numbers.”

Jamie Durham, an economist at PwC, said: “It is important to take the figures with a pinch of salt.

“We would expect the market, and in particular transactions, to remain subdued over the coming months.”

Source: Express and Star

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Potential spend of London house buyers pushed to £52bn

The total potential spend for all residential buyers registered with Knight Frank in London was £52bn as of 5 May, according to the real estate consultancy.

That compares to £43.5bn on the same day in 2019, representing a 20% increase.

The data also shows that the number of lost sales in London due to Coronavirus is increasing. While four in five deals underway when the pandemic struck are still progressing, transaction numbers in the week ending 2 May were 54% below their five-year average.

However, a secondary trend is that more buyers are starting to prepare for life after the lockdown. The equivalent drop in exchanges in the first week of lockdown (week ending 28 March) was 74%.

The same pattern is also visible when examining the number of new buyers registering. In the week ending 28 March, the number was 77% below the five-year average in London.

By the week ending 2 May, that had narrowed to a decline of 60%. The number of new prospective buyers has doubled over this period.

Meanwhile, the number of web hits for sales properties in London was 12% below the five-year average in the week ending 2 May. That compares to a 42% decline in the first week of lockdown.

Furthermore, while the number of new buyers registering was down 60% in the week ending 2 May, the number of new properties placed on the market was down by 74%. In the four-week period to 2 May, supply fell by more than demand each week, a trend that will act as a brake on price declines.

Tom Bill, head of London residential research at Knight Frank, said: “That said, the difference between asking prices and exchange prices is widening.

“In April 2020, the average sale price was 94% of the original asking price, down from 97% in January, which was a time when the effects of the so-called Boris bounce started to take hold.

“This reflects the ad hoc renegotiations that are taking place between buyers and sellers, which are not based on comparable evidence.”

Knight Frank’s prime central and outer indices for April are broadly flat over the past 12 months, reflecting how thin trading conditions remain.

The index in prime central London fell 0.3% between March and April, leaving the annual decline at 1.3%. It was the first time the annual decline had widened in more than a year.

This pattern reflects what the sales evidence is showing. The average £PSF in April 2020 was £1,054, marginally down from a figure of £1,057 in April 2019.

Source: Mortgage Introducer

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London property: Number of new homes on the market drops across all boroughs

The London property market has been hit by the UK’s coronavirus lockdown, with all boroughs suffering a sharp decline in the number of new homes on the market.

Outer boroughs such as Hillingdon and Bromley have seen the steepest drop, with the number of new homes for sale falling 91 per cent since restrictions were implemented last month.

Merton and Redbridge both saw new listings decline 90 per per cent and Sutton suffered an 89 per cent drop.

The number of new homes on the market dropped across the whole of the capital. However inner London boroughs fared better than more far-flung areas.

The City of London and Westminster saw the number of new listings fall 67 per cent and 74 per cent respectively, according to research by property platform Get Agent.

The coronavirus lockdown had the least impact on the housing market in Greenwich, where new homes fell 29 per cent, followed by the 64 per cent drop seen in Tower Hamlets.

Across the UK, Woking suffered the biggest decline – of 94 per cent – and West Lancashire came out on top with a drop of 25.8 per cent.

“In some areas, such as Woking, the market has pretty much dropped off a cliff since the lockdown was implemented, whereas other areas have seen a decline but continue to register more robust levels of new listings,” said Get Agent chief executive Colby Short.

“This is certainly due to influences such as a high concentration of new-builds, with many developers having to keep selling due to the fact that they have money tied into developments and interest repayments to make.

“Many new build developers also have the benefit of selling empty properties which makes social distancing measures easier, while many new build buyers, particularly those from overseas are happier to transact based on a virtual viewing.”

London boroughs
BoroughChange
Hillingdon-91%
Bromley-91%
Redbridge-90%
Merton-90%
Sutton-89%
Bexley-88%
Harrow-87%
Richmond upon Thames-87%
Havering-87%
Barking and Dagenham-86%
Ealing-86%
Islington-85%
Enfield-85%
Croydon-85%
Wandsworth-84%
Barnet-84%
Hounslow-83%
Haringey-83%
Kensington and Chelsea-82%
Kingston upon Thames-82%
Lambeth-81%
Waltham Forest-81%
Southwark-80%
Lewisham-80%
Hackney-79%
Newham-78%
Camden-78%
Brent-77%
Hammersmith and Fulham-76%
Westminster-74%
City of London-67%
Tower Hamlets-64%
Greenwich-29%

By Jessica Clark

Source: City AM

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Coronavirus and the London property market

As the coronavirus outbreak and UK lockdown continues, many are left asking what this will mean for the property market. It’s too early to tell exactly how it will fully impact the sector and economy moving forward. However, the UK property market is robust and has shown its resilience during uncertain times in recent years.

Many professionals in the property industry have stated they believe house price growth will slow down as fewer properties will be going on the market and less transactions will likely take place. However, a major crash in prices is not expected as many believe the market will pick up pace after a period of uncertainty, similar to after the Brexit referendum.

Most buyers and sellers are still proceeding with sales that started before the outbreak of coronavirus. The majority of people are investing in property for the long-term, which means buyers, landlords and investors will be less impacted by short-term fluctuation in property prices.

London property still seen as a safe haven

Even though the short-term future of the property market is uncertain, sales are continuing to be agreed. Property, especially in London, is still being viewed as a safe haven as shares and stock investments have taken a massive blow since the coronavirus outbreak and have shown to be extremely volatile investments.

Prior to the government response to coronavirus becoming more drastic, the UK property sector as a whole had the strongest start to the year for four years. The London property market was also the strongest it had been since prior to the vote on Brexit as asking prices reached the largest annual rise since May 2016, according to Homes & Property.

Rightmove’s House Price Index for March revealed the average price of a property in London reached £638,826, which is an impressive 5.1 per cent annual increase. This is likely due to supply still not keeping up with demand. Additionally, the index also revealed the number of sales agreed in the capital grew by 34.4 per cent, and it even took 15 fewer days for properties to sell once they were put up for sale.

The private rental sector is showing growth, too. RICS have predicted rents in the UK to rise by 2% this year – and up to 3% per annum by 2025. Other property experts state that the Coronavirus isn’t negatively affecting rent prices, which are only down 0.2 per cent on the previous month.

Rising demand from prospective tenants is keeping rents high as supply remains relatively low. A large number of private landlords who have empty rental properties are now scrambling to find longer-term tenants, and are still able to advertise on rightmove and zoopla, with online letting agents Portico making this available at an extremely attractive price.

In short, London’s market fundamentals are considered solid. Even though the fast-paced market will likely slow down due to the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown, the sector is expected to bounce back after a period of uncertainty.

Technology is keeping the property market moving

As physical viewings of properties have been banned following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s lockdown announcement on 23 March, the market is naturally expected to slow down. However, more and more estate agents are adapting to the measures by offering virtual property viewings through “walk through” video tours and Facebook Live events.

With millions of people working from home, there has been a substantial increase in virtual viewings. Property portals, such as Rightmove and Zoopla, are also seeing surges in search numbers on par with the figures for Christmas and Boxing Day.

To keep the sector moving, the market as a whole is adapting quickly as many property professionals are using a range of technology and proptech to be able to continue transacting, despite the coronavirus lockdown. In addition to virtual viewings, appointments are still being done through video conferencing tools, FaceTime and WhatsApp and contracts are able to be signed electronically.

Record low interest and mortgage rates make borrowing more affordable

The Bank of England lowered the base interest rate from 0.75 per cent to 0.25 per cent on 11 March, and then it was further lowered to 0.1 per cent on 19 March. This is lower than it’s ever been before and means it’s a great time to get a mortgage or remortgage your property as borrowing is likely to be more affordable.

Borrowers with tracker mortgages should be seeing their mortgage rates drop. If you’re looking for a mortgage, over a dozen lenders have promised to cut their standard variable rates by 0.5 per cent. More banks and building societies are expected to drop their rates in the coming weeks.

Which? found that the cheapest fixed-rate mortgages haven’t seen significant drops as they are already at historic lows. However, average mortgage rates are continuing to fall, and there are a significant number of products available.

Because of this, it could prove to be a great time to buy a property and lock in these record low rates. This means mortgage repayments will likely be more affordable and could provide you the opportunity to borrow more and get more for your money. Additionally, these low interest rates could also fuel property price growth once the crisis surrounding coronavirus is over.

To cut your interest costs further, it’s also recommended to get an up to date online property valuation on your property. Your lender will then need to recalculate your loan-to value ratio (LTV). A lower LTV usually means you’ll receive a better interest rate and have access to a wider selection of lenders.

Get ahead of the competition

The government has recently urged both buyers and renters to delay moving house if possible as it’s important for people to stay at home and away from others during the coronavirus outbreak. However, this could still be a smart time to get ahead of the competition if you’re interested in buying or investing in property.

The property buying process could take longer than normal, and you might need to delay completion depending on how long the coronavirus lockdown lasts. However, you can still get the ball rolling and invest in property with record low interest and mortgage rates. And as the UK, including London, is in a housing shortage, there is still expected to be strong demand for property and rental properties moving forward.

Source: London Loves Business

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London house prices rebound with 2.3 per cent growth after election

London house prices grew at their fastest rate in 15 months in December following Boris Johnson’s election win, official figures showed today, as UK house prices also rose.

Homes in the capital enjoyed a 2.3 per cent rise to £484,000 after a 2019 full of falls, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The south east also posted growth of 1.2 per cent, the UK’s lowest rate of growth.

London house prices jump

“London has languished at the depths of the house price rankings for months on end but has… shifted through the standings considerably,” said Marc von Grundherr, director of lettings at Benham and Reeves estate agent.

“If ever there were a sign that the tides are turning, this is it, and it won’t be long before London starts to lead from the front once again.”

Jamie Durham, an economist at PwC, hailed London’s post-election jump after the capital’s rate of growth sank compared to the north’s.

“Price growth in London in particular has rebounded,” he said. “This may suggest an end to North-South divide in house price growth that has been evident over the last couple of years.

“Price growth rates have been trending upwards since the middle of 2019. It appears that greater certainty in the economy, particularly related to the Brexit agreement and General Election result, has unlocked pent-up demand and helped push up prices.

“Assuming everything goes smoothly during the transition period, and the economic environment remains resilient, we expect continued positive house price growth in 2020.”

All regions climb in house price bounce

UK house prices climbed 2.2 per cent on an annual basis in December to beat November 2019’s 1.7 per cent growth rate. But they only rose 0.3 per cent on a month by month basis.

The average UK house price stood at £252,000 in December 2019, according to the ONS.

It is the first month since February 2018 that all UK regions posted a growth in house prices.

Yorkshire and the Humber experienced the highest rate of growth at 3.9 per cent. The east Midlands enjoyed growth of 2.8 per cent, and the West Midlands rose 1.4 per cent.

“In particular London has returned to strong growth,” said Yopa property analyst Mike Scott. He hailed the 2.3 per cent rise as London’s best since September 2017.

“London’s average price of £482,842 is also a new record, beating the previous high of £479,942 from February 2018,” he added.

“We anticipate that it will continue to strengthen over the next few months as the renewed market confidence following the decisive election result feeds through into completed sales.”

‘Normal service resumed’

“Normal service has most definitely been resumed,” added Jonathan Hopper, managing director Garrington Property Finders.

“Such a resounding return to normality at the end of 2019 shows just how far the housing market has come since the dark days of a year ago.

“London, for so long the fallen idol of the national property landscape, has powered back not just to growth, but to become the fourth best performing English region in 2019.

“Both buyers and sellers appear to have a renewed sense of clarity and purpose, and in many areas prices are playing catch up.”

‘Nationwide revival’ underway

Sam Mitchell, CEO at online estate agent Housesimple, added that today’s figures amount to a “nationwide revival”.

“This positive sentiment has continued into 2020,” Mitchell said. “Buyers have flocked to the property market with more gusto thanks to the so-called Boris boom and greater clarity on Brexit.

“The months of March to June are typically when we see a real boost in buyer activity, though this spring awakening appears to be starting a little earlier this year.”

UK house prices rise at end of 2019

UK house prices have bounced back since the turn of the year after a subdued 2019.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s General Election victory has been credited as a major driver behind a 4.1 per cent rise in house prices recorded by Halifax for January.

That increase led accounts EY to raise their forecast for housing market growth in 2020 from two per cent to 2.8 per cent.

But major factors like the Brexit trade deal talks, which must conclude by the end of 2020, are still putting downward pressure on UK house prices.

And Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at EY, today sounded a note of caution on 2020 house price growth.

“However, the economy still looks set for a pretty challenging 2020 and there will still be appreciable uncertainties,” he said.

“The upside for house prices in 2020 is likely to be limited. Additionally while the fundamentals for consumers should still be pretty decent in 2020, we suspect that earnings growth will be below the peak levels seen around mid-2019 and that employment growth will be slower overall.”

Today’s UK house prices data arrives after Rightmove predicted a spring bounce that could set new house price records from March.

Rightmove director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside said: “There is a boom in buyer activity outstripping the rise in the number of new sellers, which we expect to lead to a series of new price records starting next month.”

By Joe Curtis

Source: City AM

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London rental growth at three-year high

Annual rental growth in London reached 2.8% in Q4 2019, the highest growth rate for three years, Zoopla’s Rental Market report shows.

In York, Bristol and Nottingham the average cost of renting has increased by more than 5%, more than double the UK average of 2.6%.

Aberdeen, Middlesbrough and Coventry were the only three cities where the cost of renting has fallen compared to last year.

Mary-Anne Bowring, managing director at Ringley, said: “Rental prices in London have increased by 2.8% – the highest rate in the capital for almost four years – and providing the Brexit deal doesn’t prove too damaging, this will likely continue.

“Zoopla’s prediction that anticipates a 3.5% growth in rental prices over 2020 is welcome news for landlords and the institutional investors eyeing the UK rental market, with recent Savills research showing there are now over 150,000 build-to-rent homes in the pipeline.”

The Office for National Statistics estimated that average rents grew by 3.8% in 2019, compared to the 2.6% cost of renting.

Bowring added: “Rental growth has largely been driven by higher wages but there are al-ready signs wage growth may be slowing. Lack of supply is also another factor, with many private landlords looking to exit the market following tax and regulatory changes.

“A drop off in available rental homes combined with reduced wage growth could leave renters out of pocket. To that end, the government should rethink its approach to buy-to-let landlords.”

BY RYAN BEMBRIDGE

Source: Property Wire

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London house prices rose twice as fast as the rest of UK in 2010s

London house prices rose twice as fast as the UK average during the 2010s, a new report has shown, notching up a 66 per cent growth rate that was far faster than any other region.

In the country as a whole, the average house price rose 33 per cent over the last decade as it recovered from the financial crisis, the report from Nationwide said. The figure was far lower than the 117 per cent rise seen in the 2000s.

Andrew Harvey, Nationwide’s senior economist, said the London price expansion came “despite recent weakness”. Political wrangling caused big-ticket purchases to dry up in 2019, sending prices in London tumbling by 2.9 per cent.

Houses in Britain once again became less affordable in the 2010s as price growth outstripped the 20 per cent increase in earnings.

Price growth in the housing markets in Britain’s northern regions was weak over the last decade, with prices slow to recover from the financial crisis of 2008-9. House prices in the north grew by 11 per cent during the 2010s, for example.

“The 2010s has been the weakest decade for house price growth since the 1990s.”

Andrew Harvey, Nationwide’s senior economist

In the 1990s, house prices grew by 21 per cent. This followed an enormous 180 per cent increase in the 1980s, when policies such as Margaret Thatcher’s Right to Buy and the relaxation of mortgage lending rules led to a property boom.

UK house price growth over the last 40 years

Region1980s1990s2000s2010s
London215%40%111%66%
Outer Met222%29%95%54%
Outer SE219%18%114%43%
E Anglia227%6%115%43%
S West206%19%122%38%
E Mids244%3%120%36%
W Mids196%16%108%33%
Wales163%7%135%17%
N West183%23%124%17%
Yorks & H203%-9%137%17%
North178%9%127%11%
Scotland125%28%127%8%
N Ireland23%115%123%2%
UK180%21%117%33%

Harvey said that over the last decade it was not just central London houses that rose rapidly in price. “The neighbouring outer metropolitan region – which includes places such as Slough, Guildford, Crawley and Chelmsford – also significantly outperformed, with prices rising 54 per cent during the 2010s,” he said.

Harvey added that although London has long been the least affordable region in Britain, the issue has grown in recent years.

London’s house price earnings ratio reached 10.2 in 2016, Nationwide said, meaning a house was 10.2 times more expensive than the average yearly earnings in the region.

By 2019, it had dropped to 8.8, but this was still well above the 6.1 figure seen at the start of the decade.

By Harry Robertson

Source: City AM

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London house price boost helps overall growth

UK city house price growth has picked up to 2.9% supported by a 1% increase in London house prices, the October Zoopla UK Cities House Price Index has revealed.

Prices have risen by 1% in London over the past year, the highest rate of growth for two years, following a period of year-on-year price falls.

Richard Donnell, research and insight director at Zoopla, said: “After a three-year repricing process accompanied by a sizable decline in housing sales, the London housing market is finally showing signs of life.

“The shift in momentum is clear, resulting from a lack of supply, increased sales and more realistic pricing, which bode well for higher sales activity in 2020, rather than a pick-up in house price growth.

“While the London housing market has been in the doldrums, market conditions in regional cities have been stronger over the last two years with demand supported by employment growth and attractive housing affordability.

“The rate of growth is slowing, and all cities are registering annual growth of less than 5%.

“The announcement of the General Election has brought forward the usual seasonal slowdown, but the last few weeks of the year pre-Christmas tend to be much quieter than after Boxing Day, when consumer interest in housing springs back to life.”

House prices are now registering month-on-month price falls in less than a quarter of London’s housing markets, a huge drop from the 85% of markets registering price falls a year ago.

Over three quarters of London’s homes are in markets registering small month-on-month price increases, which have lifted the overall annual growth rate to 1%.

The shift in London house price momentum is down to a decrease in the number of new properties for sale, which has restricted supply.

This is a trend that has been developing for the last 12 months and has been accelerated by the announcement of the General Election on 12 December.

In addition, there has been a notable increase in the number of sales agreed per agency branch in London.

While this increase is off a low base, it indicates that there is renewed demand for housing in London after a sizable drop in sales volumes over the past three years.

Despite London’s housing market having been through an extended slowdown, accompanied by lower sales, large regional cities are starting to show signs of slower growth.

House price growth since the start of 2017 has exceeded 15% across Edinburgh, Leicester, Manchester and Birmingham, but the pace of growth is slowing.

North of the border, house price growth remains steady in Edinburgh and Glasgow at 4.0% and 2.6% respectively.

By Michael Lloyd

Source: Mortgage Introducer