House prices in London’s more affluent boroughs have risen in some cases by more than £500 a day since the turn of the year, despite reports of a market slow-down and ongoing buyer uncertainty ahead of the London Mayoral and EU referendum votes, according to the latest analysis from Chestertons, a leading London and International lettings and estate agent.
A flurry of buyers in the new year seeking to get deals over the line before the introduction of the stamp duty surcharge on 1st April and the relatively weak pound compared to the dollar and the euro may be behind the strong value uplifts in the first quarter of 2016, which have been most pronounced in the borough of Kensington & Chelsea, which saw the price of an average home rocket by £535 a day, while neighbouring Hammersmith & Fulham saw daily rises of £436.
And it isn’t just Prime Central areas of London seeing terrific daily house price rises: Barking & Dagenham (£376), Hackney (£368) and Lewisham (£310) all saw daily increases in excess of £300.
Guy Gittins, Executive Director at Chestertons, says: “There’s been a lot of negative talk about markets softening and prices set for serious falls, if not a full-on crash, but the doomsayers are conveniently overlooking strong demand from investors and owner occupiers alike.
“Put simply, there just aren’t enough houses on the market to satisfy demand, and when you factor in the rush from landlords trying to beat the 1st April stamp duty surcharge and the fact that euro or the dollar investors have clearly been capitalising on the relative strength of their currency against the pound, these strong price rises in London since the turn of the year aren’t all that surprising.
“Now the extra stamp duty on second homes is here and the investor rush is over we are seeing more owner-occupiers make a concerted bid to buy, having been pushed aside to some extent in the buy-to-let stampede,” Gittins continues.
“There is uncertainty ahead, not least with the possibility of a Brexit following the 23rd June EU referendum vote, but it’s clear buyers are still queueing up to buy homes in the right locations and at the right price in London, so as long as this shortage of homes coming to the market persists then prices will only continue to go one way.”
Jamie Hughes, from the Chestertons FX currency exchange service, adds: “Sterling has lost value and since late November the rate against the euro and dollar fell 11.93% and 10.7% respectively. This has been a springboard for international buyers to jump back into the market, as UK property has become much more affordable than it was two or three years ago, or even last year. We can expect further consolidation or weakening of the pound while uncertainty over a possible Brexit persists.”