The UK is known for producing a plethora of data on the housing market and the latest figures show that London house prices are still heading lower. Meanwhile, in the rest of the country, home prices are edging upwards as they remain much more affordable for regular, hard-working Britons.
Three recent surveys report that London continues to lag the rest of country and house prices remain firmly in negative territory. And, the outlook going forward isn’t too bright, either.
“London property prices have been in correction mode for some time, now, but still remain mired in a negative tone,” said Newington Green estate agent, M&M Property. “A combination of affordability and investment preferences continue to weigh on the city market and will likely do so for some time yet.”
The latest monthly house price report from LSL Property Services and Acadata, shows the average property price across England and Wales was down 0.1% on the month in September and 1.3% higher compared with a year ago. In August, house prices fell 0.2% on the month and were 2.1% higher in annual terms.
But, their calculations also include a measure excluding London and the south east, which rose by a stronger 3.3% on the year. That highlights the drag house prices in the capital and south-east region exerted on the broader average.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) September report concurs with Acadata. It showed that not only were London property prices “remain firmly negative” but sales activity in the city were slow during the month too.
And, looking ahead, surveyors are anticipating the sales slowdown to continue.
“The London property market is attracting some interest, but not nearly as much as it has in the past, even with the depreciation of sterling and stronger dollar to support purchases from overseas investors,” said Wimbledon estate agent, Robert Holmes.
More up-to-date trends
Meanwhile, that picture of a more resilient northern housing market and stickier London trend continued into October. According to the most recent Rightmove survey which is based on properties advertised on its website for sale, the average UK house price was up 1.1% on the month in the first few weeks of October and was 1.4% higher compared with a year ago.
But, looking at its London specific data and it’s a familiar story.
Greater London property prices were 3.1% higher than in September, but 2.5% lower than a year earlier. Inner London showed a steeper annual drop of 5.6%, while outer London experienced a small increase of 0.5% in annual terms.
“The more expensive end of London’s property market continues to re-adjust t levels buyers are more comfortable with,” said Best Gapp. “But, it seems we’re still not quite there and we’re anticipating further annual declines as buyers and sellers find a happier medium.”