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What is happening to the UK property market

What is happening to the uk property market

What is happening to the UK property market

Whether you’re applying for your first mortgage, or you’re already a homeowner, you’ll know there’s a lot of news coverage about interest rates, inflation and mortgage loans right now. 

So what’s happening, and why? How it might affect you will depend on what type of mortgage deal you’re looking for, or the type of deal you’re on – and how much longer is left on the term of your loan. 

Plus, forecasts on rising interest rates are changing quickly, along with wider economic conditions. No one knows for sure what’s ahead, but we’re still seeing tens of thousands of people requesting to view properties each day, which is the same level that we’ve seen all month.

So if you are thinking of moving, or if your mortgage term is coming to an end soon, here we’ve tried to help answer some of the questions you might have. 

Why are mortgage rates rising now?

Before this week, mortgage rates had already been increasing throughout the year. The Bank of England sets the ‘base rate’, which lenders use to set their own mortgage rates. In January of this year, the base rate was 0.25%. Since then, it has gone up incrementally and is currently 2.25%. 

The Government sets the Bank of England an inflation target of 2%, but the current rate is 9.9%. It’s the Bank of England’s responsibility to make sure inflation is low and stable, so they need to bring inflation back down. The way they do that is by increasing interest rates. 

The Bank of England forecasts inflation to rise to about 11% in October, and that it will stay above 10% for a few months before starting to fall. 

Rising interest rates have led to an increase in the average mortgage rates that are available. As an example, if you have a 10% deposit and choose to take out a two-year fixed rate mortgage, the typical rate that was available in January was 2%. That increased to an average of 3.9% at the end of August. These rises had been predicted and lenders were able to factor them in gradually. 

Mortgage rates have been rising further this week because when unexpected things happen in financial markets, they’re likely to have a direct impact. Last Friday (23rd September), the Chancellor’s mini-budget unveiled the biggest tax cuts for 50 years, including a stamp duty cut for home-movers in England and Northern Ireland.

This has resulted in a lot of speculation about how these cuts might impact the UK’s finances. The value of the pound has seen record falls, which is likely to drive inflation up further. As a result, it’s widely believed that the Bank of England may need to raise interest rates faster and higher than previously forecasted. 

At the minute, there’s a suggestion from the financial markets that the bank base rate could rise to 5.8% by next spring. This has impacted the underlying costs of fixed-rate mortgages. This is why some lenders have repriced deals and others have temporarily removed some or all of their products. Some of the lenders who have withdrawn products are expected to return with new deals in the coming days and weeks.

How might increasing interest rates affect my mortgage?

If you’re a first-time buyer, moving home, or remortgaging, it’s likely you’ll be impacted by the changes. If you have a fixed-rate deal, the good news is that it will be business as usual, and your monthly repayments won’t change, at least until your current deal ends. 

If you don’t do anything, at the end of your deal you’ll automatically move on to the lender’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR). These rates tend to be higher than other mortgage rates and are generally changed to reflect movements in the Bank of England’s base rate. 

Take a look at how your repayments would change if you have a 25-year mortgage term and are looking at a fixed-rate for £200,000, based on rates increasing from between 2% to 6%. 

Fixed mortgage rate (£200,000 over 25 years) Monthly payments Increase in monthly payments
1% £754
2% £848 +£94
3% £948 +£194
4% £1,056 +£302
5% £1,169 +£415
6% £1,289 +£535

 

If you’re among the estimated 15% of borrowers with a variable or a tracker mortgage, your monthly outgoings will almost certainly go up. The interest rate paid on tracker mortgages is usually anchored against the bank base rate plus a set percentage. For example, the current base rate of 2.25%, plus 1%, would mean you’d be paying 3.25% interest right now. 

Can I still get a fixed-rate mortgage deal now?

Some lenders have withdrawn their fixed-rate products, while others have increased their prices in response to the rapidly changing costs of their funding. But it’s definitely worth finding out what your options are. 

If you’re on a tracker or a variable mortgage, you could shop around to see if you can find a cheaper option with a fixed-rate mortgage. However, you might have to pay an early repayment charge first. You could speak to a qualified mortgage broker or adviser if you’re unsure which options would be best for your individual circumstances. 

I’m on a fixed rate, what are my options when my deal ends?

If your fixed-rate deal is due to end within the next six months, you could see what your options are for locking in a deal now. 

Many lenders will allow existing customers to apply for new deals up to six months before their current rate ends without having to pay an early repayment charge. This is often called ‘product transfer’ or ‘switching’. This is a relatively easy process as you’re staying with your existing lender, so you won’t need a solicitor or a property valuation, and there’s no need to prove your income. 

If you’re looking to move lenders – whether you’re remortgaging or moving home – you may want to start well before your fixed-rate deal ends, as the application process can take several months or more. 

There is so much fluctuation in the mortgage market right now, you might want to look at what your lender has to offer or speak to a mortgage broker to find out which deals are available to you. 

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Elizabeth line property guide

Elizabeth line property guide

Elizabeth line property guide

 

Canary Wharf has been a long slow burn ever since the late 1980s when Margaret Thatcher decided to transform acres of derelict dockland in east London into London’s second financial centre.

Those early days were full of mishaps and disappointments — the cost of the Docklands Light Railway spiralled, and critics pointed out that once its offices cleared out the area became a ghost town.

But since 2012 things have changed, radically. No longer simply a place for bankers to earn a crust, Canary Wharf has become a modern destination in its own right.

You can relax in the Crossrail Roof Garden or Jubilee Park, shop at Crossrail Place or a series of underground malls, admire the boats at South Dock, learn to sail at the Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre at Millwall Outer Dock, eat at the kind of restaurants where an expense account is a help — notably Roka (Canada Square), Ippudo London (Crossrail Place) or Hawksmoor (Water Street) — or stroll over to West India Quay where Grade I listed waterfront warehouses have been redeveloped with bars and restaurants.

The Canary Wharf Group puts on scores of cultural events each year, like the Winter Lights Festival and public art displays.

“When I tell people I live in Canary Wharf the majority of people say: “Oh it’s so boring, there is no character”,” said Kevin Tang, 51, who has lived in the area since 2000 with his husband Geffrye Parsons, 56.

Crossrail journey times

Canary Wharf to:

Tottenham Court Road: 13 minutes

Paddington: 18 minutes

Heathrow: From 54 minutes

Timings include ten minutes for interchange at Liverpool Street, eight minutes for interchange at Paddington, in force until 2023

“I think people should come and look at it now. It has actually got lots of character, because of the architecture. You feel very metropolitan when you live here, it is what modern London is all about. And it is heaving at the weekends with people coming to eat and drink and shop.”

The resident population of Canary Wharf has spiralled since the start of the 2000s as new towers have flown up. In 2011 there were 12,500 people living in the Canary Wharf ward, according to Tower Hamlets Council. By 2020 it had jumped to 19,000 and this is projected to leap to around 40,000 once all the new homes in the area are completed.

New landmarks on the skyline include Herzog & De Meuron’s One Park Drive, a 58 storey giant; prices currently start at £840,000 for a one bedroom flat.

There has also been heavy investment in flats built to rent. The largest to date is the Newfoundland tower, which was completed last summer. Its 636 flats cost from £2,383pcm for a one bedroom flat, and £3,335 for a two bedroom flat.

Average house prices since work on Crossrail started

2012: £371,700

2022: £603,000,

Growth: 62 per cent

Source: Hamptons

Beyond the official Canary Wharf estate new towers are being built overlooking South Dock, technically in the Isle of Dogs The 53 storey Amory Tower (formerly known as The Madison) and the 75 storey Landmark Pinnacle — where studio flats start at £559,000 — both completed last year.

Kevin, a property developer, and Geffrye, who recently took early retirement from his career in finance, reserved a flat in One Park Drive back in 2018 — the one-bedroom property, with phenomenal view from one of the highest floors, cost just over £1 million.

In the interim they rented a flat at 10, George Street, a purpose-built rental block, in 2020 before moving to their home at the start of this year.

They chose Canary Wharf partly because they were excited by the prospect of owning a home in Herzog & De Meuron’s first UK residential project. They travel frequently so living in a safe, lock up and leave home was another pull, along with the direct links to Heathrow that come with Crossrail’s long-awaited opening.

Their longer term plan is to move to Canada, and they plan to use the flat as a pied-à-terre, with the option of renting it out while they are not in the UK.

James Hyman, head of residential at Cluttons estate agents, estimates that around 70 per cent of Canary Wharf’s flats are bought by investors able to let a two-bedroom flat for around £2,200 per week.

Would-be owner occupiers can get a bit more for their money by opting for a resale flat rather than something brand new — around £750,000 would buy a two-bedroom apartment.

Hyman thinks the biggest challenge Canary Wharf’s market has faced over the past couple of years has not been the pandemic and absence of overseas buyers and local office workers.

It has been the building safety crisis and the subsequent demands for buildings to pass fire safety checks. “So many of those blocks still don’t have the right documentation to satisfy a lender and that has slightly suppressed the market,” said Hyman.

As a result, prices have inched up by just three per cent in the past two years.

Hyman agrees with Kevin that the appeal of Canary Wharf is its uniqueness. “It is a very sophisticated part of London if you want modern, purpose built living,” he said. “It is owned by a Singapore-based business, it is maintained to a Singapore standard and is probably the closest environment to utopia that exists.

“And Canary Wharf has changed massively over the past 10 years. It is buzzy at the weekend. The retail is West End standard, there are restaurants and bars. A lot of people who live in Canary Wharf don’t work there. Historically you only lived there if you also worked there.”

The future

The Canary Wharf Group has started work on the five million sq ft Wood Wharf development, which will include a hub for tech companies plus more than 4,000 new homes to rent or buy. The wharf will also include lots of new restaurants like street food sensation Mercato Metropolitano, due to open “imminently” within 10 George Street.

And at North Quay, there are plans to create a life sciences hub, several apartment buildings, a casino, nightclub, and skatepark.

To counteract all this steel, grass, and concrete, it was announced earlier this year that Canary Wharf chiefs are working with the Eden Project on plans to create a “green spine” through the docklands, featuring parks and gardens, boardwalks, bridges, and floating pontoons through the centre of the neighbourhood.

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London’s prime bubble sees record sales in homes over £5 million

London’s prime bubble sees record sales in homes over £5 million

London’s prime bubble sees record sales in homes over £5 million

Almost £3 billion was spent on £5 million-plus properties in the first half of 2022 as prime central London retains reputation as a ‘safe haven’ for foreign buyers

Mega-mansions are flying off the shelves in the top end of London’s property market with a record 294 homes in the £5 million plus bracket changing hands in the past six months.

Almost £3 billion has been spent on luxury property costing £5 million or more so far in 2022 according to research by agent Savills, the highest ever recorded.

Over half the sales in traditional super prime hotspots like Knightsbridge, Chelsea and Belgravia.

At 294, the number of homes sold in the first half of this year is almost as high as the total seen across 2019 as a whole (308 homes), the last period unaffected by the pandemic. It is even higher than in the bounce-back years following the 2008 financial crisis. There was also an increase in homes selling for more than £10 million, with 89 £10 million-plus sales completed in the first half of 2022, a 41 per cent increase on the first half of last year and 94 per cent increase on 2020.

A separate report from LonRes recorded super luxury sales including a 12-bedroom mansion on Belgrave Square near Harrods which sold for £90 million, and a property on The Boltons in Chelsea which sold for £42 million.

However, prices in prime London areas are still 17.6 per cent below their 2014 peak. Since then, the top end of the market has faced setbacks ranging from Brexit to tax changes and most recently the pandemic which has kept foreign buyers away. Many Asian buyers, particularly those from China and Hong Kong, were reluctant to visit London because of onerous Covid restrictions when they returned home while Russian buyers have also completely dried up since the start of the war in Ukraine.

This means wealthy Britain-based buyers continue to dominate the market’s top-end. With less reliance on the need to borrow money, this group remains relatively unaffected by the issues in the mass market such as rising interest rates and the cost of living crisis. A combination of these factors, plus the looming threat of a recession, means some experts have predicted house prices in the mainstream market will cool towards the end of the year.

Alex Christian, London director at Savills Private Office, said some foreign investors were starting to re-emerge in the prime London market, especially Asian buyers.

“London still looks like good value in a historical context, with prices well below the 2014 peak, and the pound remains weak against the American, Singapore, and Hong Kong dollar, as well as the Chinese Yuan, meaning that London property is looking like an increasingly good investment opportunity to buyers in these markets.”

He added: “Above all, prime central London’s reputation as a safe haven for international investment remains, and it is also seen as a secure bet to hedge against inflation.”

Alex Woodleigh Smith, managing director of Knightsbridge buying agency AWS Prime said the sector was seeing a correction in the value of prime central London property following the sharp decline experienced between 2015 and 2022, coupled with an ongoing shortage of stock.

“Add to this, a reinvigorated pool of domestic buyers and the re-emergence of international buyers fighting over limited supply and it is easy to see why scarcely available properties in the best addresses in London have become so irresistible. As a result, our summer has been anything but quiet”.

There has been a distinct increase in confidence in the prime London property market, which is resulting in more interest and an broad cross-section of investors from around the world investing in London.

Antony Antoniou, director of Trellows Luxury Homes said:

“As a major brand in the luxury market, we have noticed a significant increase in interest in the prime London market, with many of our most sought-after properties selling off-market, or before they even hit the market.”

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London market benefiting from frozen Russian property sales

London market benefiting from frozen Russian property sales

London market benefiting from frozen Russian property sales

Sanctions against Russians slow down supply of high-end property in London

The war in Ukraine is making it hard for even unsanctioned Russians to sell exclusive residential property in Britain, adding to a shortage of supply that has helped drive up house prices in prime locations, real estate sources say.

Russian oligarchs, Middle Eastern oil barons and billionaire Chinese entrepreneurs have been on a spending spree on London real estate over the past three decades, snapping up trophy homes and high-end commercial property.

But the four-month-old invasion of Ukraine, which Russia calls a special military operation, has prompted Britain to slap sanctions on more than 1,100 Russians it says have ties to the Kremlin, spreading unease and freezing house sales in so-called Londongrad, agents say.

“There have definitely been a number of transactions that have not gone through, two in excess of 40 million pounds ($49 million),” said Charlie Willis, CEO of property broker The London Broker, adding that in both cases, the buyers were advised not to proceed “just because the seller was originally Russian”. He declined to give further details.

THE BIG SQUEEZE

A widespread shortage of available properties has pushed up prime London prices by 4.7% since the invasion, according to agents Benham & Reeves, although prices in Belgravia and Knightsbridge – popular locations for Russians – have climbed slightly less, at 3.3%.

“The market’s being fuelled by a lack of supply,” said Geoff Garrett, director at mortgage broker Henry Dannell.

The number of prime central London residential sales was down 30% between March and May compared with last year, though still up on pre-pandemic levels, according to property data firm LonRes.

Estate agent Aston Chase estimates there are over 150,000 Russians living in London who between them own eight billion pounds of real estate assets, businesses, and other investments in Britain.

But Mark Pollack, Aston Chase’s co-founder, says wealthy Russians are increasingly cautious about being caught up in the web of sanctions.

“Russians aren’t buying (in the same way) and they are not selling, not necessarily because they don’t want to in some instances, but because they probably can’t or it might be sensible to hope the … dust settles,” he said.

Britain in February scrapped its so-called “golden visas” for wealthy investors and last month announced plans for a new economic crime bill, intended in part to identify the owners of property in Britain and combat illicit finance, although critics say loopholes remain.

Henry Sherwood, managing director of The Buying Agents, which focuses on properties starting at around five million pounds, said the crack down had helped dash hopes the war and sanctions might lead to a flurry of cut-price Russian sales.

At the beginning of the war, “we had people ringing up saying: ‘Have you got any Russians selling?’,” he said.

But he added: “The more discreet don’t want to have anything to do with them. Our buyers don’t want to be associated with firesales – they don’t want to get into a transaction that will never happen.”

One unsanctioned Russian failed to secure three lawyers before finding one willing to help him sell an expensive London property, a senior executive at a property development firm on the other side of the deal told Reuters.

Russian tenants including students are also finding it hard to transfer funds due to sanctions, forcing them to withdraw from the market in London, said Marc von Grundherr, director at Benham & Reeves.

Unprecedented Western sanctions on Moscow, the withdrawal from Russia of scores of Western companies and pressure on London’s advisory companies to cut links with Russian clients have driven some Russian buyers to friendlier property hotspots such as Dubai or Istanbul.

One Russian client, Pollack said, had pulled out of buying an 18 million pound London apartment when Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine in February because they were nervous about the political rhetoric in Britain. They still want a London home, but have halved their budget, he said.

But buyers from other regions are helping to keep the London market buoyant.

International buyers have accounted for at least a third of property purchases in prime central London locations in every quarter between 2011 and 2019, according to data from Statista.

Vic Chhabria, managing director at agent London Real Estate Office, which specialises in new constructions as well as high-rise condominiums and luxury homes, said his appointment diary was full, with most interest from buyers in Singapore, Hong Kong and Mumbai willing to spend between two and 20 million pounds.

A prolonged war, tighter regulation, rising interest rates, raging inflation and brutal stock market drops could yet take the heat out of some of that growth, agents added.

“The property market has been flying over the course of the last two to three years,” said Garrett. “All of these cycles have to slow.”

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Property 115% more likely to sell in April

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Property 115% more likely to sell in April

The chance of a vendor selling a property is at its highest level for a decade, research claims.

The continuing imbalance between supply and demand meant that properties sold faster and more easily in April.

Propertymark’s latest member data showed that while the average percentage of stock sold in April over the past 10 years is 20%, it hit 43% this year – a 115% rise.

The trade body’s Housing Market Report found there were nine sales agreed on average per member branch in April compared to the December low of only five.

This figure is lower than the peak of 14 sales per branch during the stamp duty holiday of 2020–21.

However, Propertymark said it is in line with the long-term average for April of eight sales per member branch.

The average number of properties for sale per member branch remained low in April at 20, while demand remained high at 100 house hunters per branch.

This contributed to 39% of respondents stating that most sales agreed in April were above asking price, according to the report.

Nathan Emerson, chief executive of Propertymark, said: “With fewer properties available to buy, it wouldn’t be illogical to assume that estate agents would be witnessing less sales being agreed.

“However, the number of sales agreed remains steady when compared with long term trends and agents report that sellers were 115% more likely to sell their home in April.

“This is due to the desire to buy a home remaining strong, and although the heights of prices being achieved may well start to cool, this trend is unlikely to change by a great deal.”

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Rising house prices help boost increase tax revenue

Rising house prices help boost increase tax revenue

Rising house prices help boost increase tax revenue

Rising house prices boosted HMRC’s coffers during the previous tax year.

Analysts suggest the booming housing market has meant HMRC has attracted more funds from stamp duty payments as well as more grimly from increased inheritance tax receipts during the pandemic.

The latest HMRC data for April 2021 to March 2022 shows total provisional tax receipts for the period rose by £133,8bn to £718.2bn – up 22.9%.

Stamp duty receipts hit an all-time hight of £18.6bn, up £6.1bn on a year before.

Inheritance tax receipts for April 2021 to March 2022 were £6.1bn, which is £0.7bn higher than in the same period a year earlier.

Other receipts included money from PAYE Income Tax and national insurance, which rose by £34.8bn to £338bn.

Rosie Hooper, chartered financial planner at Quilter ,warns that more estates are being dragged into paying inheritance tax due to the frozen threshold of £325,000 after which an estate may have to pay the levy.

She says: “A key contributor to the increase in IHT receipts is the housing market which increased relentlessly over the same period, in which stamp duty holidays drove the UK to a record high average house price.

“With thresholds frozen, the increase in IHT revenue is viewed as a stealth tax, as more and more people are dragged into the IHT net following the sale of their homes.

“This tax year, you can pass on £175,000 of your property tax-free through the residential nil rate band (RNRB) which is effectively doubled to £350,000 when combined with the allowance of your spouse or civil partner.

“That’s layered on top of your inheritance tax allowance – or nil rate band – of £325,000, meaning it is possible to pass on £1m inheritance free as a couple. However, the RNRB only works for those with direct descendants to inherit the family home, while the UK’s 6m cohabitees are less fortunate and cannot claim the combined allowances.”

Helen Morrissey, senior pensions and retirement analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says the IHT receipts are a “heart-breaking reminder of the pandemic” but also questions how long the booming housing market and tax take will last.

She adds: “As we emerge from the pandemic, we face difficult times ahead as the cost of living starts to bite.

“The property market has thrived in the past year as buyers took advantage of stamp duty holidays to bag themselves a new home.

“But with costs on the rise, it’s uncertain how long the market can sustain this momentum and we could see a quieter year ahead.

“Workers will also be bracing themselves for the 1.25 percentage point rise in national insurance which began in April – a further cost increase impacting already squeezed budgets.”

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Buckinghamshire Market Update April 2022

Buckinghamshire Market Update by Trellows Estate Agents

Buckinghamshire Market Update April 2022

An overview of the property market in Buckinghamshire

House Prices in Buckinghamshire

Properties in Buckinghamshire had an overall average price of £490,185 over the last year.

The majority of sales in Buckinghamshire during the last year were detached properties, selling for an average price of £786,120. Semi-detached properties sold for an average of £410,991, with terraced properties fetching £328,527.

Overall, sold prices in Buckinghamshire over the last year were 5% up on the previous year and 16% up on the 2019 peak of £422,735.

Buckinghamshire Market Snapshot

Current Properties on the Market

Buckinghamshire Market Snapshot

Available Property by Price

House prices increased by 0.7% – more than the average for the South East – in Bucks, new figures show.

The boost contributes to the longer-term trend, which has seen property prices in the area achieve 9.4% annual growth.

The average Buckinghamshire house price was £447,579, Land Registry figures show – a 0.7% increase on October.

Over the month, the picture was similar to that across the South East, where prices increased 0.5%, but Buckinghamshire underperformed compared to the 1.2% rise for the UK as a whole.

Over the last year, the average sale price of property in Buckinghamshire rose by £38,000 – putting the area 38th among the South East’s 64 local authorities with price data for annual growth.

The best annual growth in the region was in Hastings, where property prices increased on average by 22.4%, to £276,000. At the other end of the scale, properties in Woking gained just 3.7% in value, giving an average price of £442,000.

The new data released this week is accurate up to December.

Winners and Losers

Owners of semi-detached houses saw the biggest improvement in property prices in Buckinghamshire – they increased 0.8%, to £440,633 on average. Over the last year, prices rose by 10.1%.

Among other types of property:

Detached: up 0.8% monthly; up 11.8% annually; £820,452 average

Terraced: up 0.5% monthly; up 7.2% annually; £342,687 average

Flats: up 0.4% monthly; up 5.8% annually; £235,246 average

First steps on the property ladder

First-time buyers in Buckinghamshire spent an average of £330,000 on their property – £26,000 more than a year ago, and £38,000 more than in November 2016.

By comparison, former owner-occupiers paid £534,000 on average in November – 61.7% more than first-time buyers.

How do property prices in Buckinghamshire compare?

Buyers paid 21.3% more than the average price in the South East (£369,000) in November for a property in Buckinghamshire. Across the South East, property prices are high compared to those across the UK, where the average cost £271,000.

The most expensive properties in the South East were in Elmbridge – £692,000 on average, and 1.5 times as much as more than in Buckinghamshire. Elmbridge properties cost three times as much as homes in Southampton (£233,000 average), at the other end of the scale.

The highest property prices across the UK were in Kensington and Chelsea.

Factfile

Average property price in November

Buckinghamshire: £447,579

The South East: £369,093

UK: £270,708

Annual growth to November

Buckinghamshire: +9.4%

The South East: +9.6%

UK: +10%

Best and worst annual growth in the South East

Hastings: +22.4%

Woking: +3.7%

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Central London Market Update April 2022

West London house prices map

Central London Market Update April 2022

The state of the market in Central West London

 

The average property price in West London postcode area is £1.1M. The average price declined by £-190.1k (-14%) over the last twelve months. The price of an established property is £1.2M. The price of a newly built property is £702k. There were 5.5k property sales and sales increased by 9.2% (497 transactions). Most properties were sold in the over £1M price range with 1650 (30.0%) properties sold, followed by £500k-£750k price range with 1348 (24.5%) properties sold.

West London postcode area England and Wales
£1.1M £342k
average property price average property price
-14% 5%
average price percentage change average price percentage change
£-190.1k £15.8k
average price change average price change

West London house prices map

West London property sales share by price range

London house prices ‘overvalued by up to 50%’

Official data for January reveals the average price fell by 1.8% to £510,102

London’s property market is “overvalued” by as much as 50% and this has raised fears of a “looming correction”, The Telegraph reported.

S&P Global Ratings, an American credit rating agency, told the paper that “a combination of low rates, the stamp duty holiday and excess savings amid the pandemic have driven property prices higher, particularly in London and the South East”. Researcher Alastair Bigley warned that prices were likely to fall. “We expect a greater correction in property prices in an overvalued market,” he said. Meanwhile, outside London, S&P estimated that property was overvalued by 20%.

According to the latest house price index issued by property website Rightmove, the average home in London now costs £664,400. And the average time it takes to sell a home in the capital dropped from 68 days to 57 days in February – “another sign activity is picking up”, said the London Evening Standard.

Rightmove’s data also revealed that the UK house price average is now £354,564 – the first time it has exceeded £350,000.

Property prices fell by 1.8% in January

The average property value in London was £510,102 in January 2022 – down 1.8% from December 2021, according to official data published by the HM Land Registry and the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Regional data from the house price index revealed that London saw the lowest annual price growth, an increase of 2.2%, and the 1.8% dip was the most significant monthly price fall.

The London property market is one of the most robust markets in the world. The market is still being affected by a combination of factors that will take a long time to balance out.

Firstly there was Brexit, which resulted in less demand for housing in the capital, as many companies and workers either put their plans on pause, pending a clearer picture of how leaving the EU will change things, then there was the lockdown, a once in a lifetime event that came out of nowhere, forcing companies to switch to a work from home policy that changed the demographics significantly and with many workers still not travelling in to work, the city is still not back to normal.

Another consequence of the lockdown, was the number of EU workers who decided to leave, figures suggest that this may have been up to one million in London alone. This was then followed by constant uncertainly about the pandemic and to top it all, February the 24th saw the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which has resulted in a significant fall in investment from the Russian market as sanctions were imposed. This happening at the same time as high inflation caused by the bounce-back along with the first interest rises in a long time, as the markets deal with massive price rises, due to delays in the supply of materials around the world, post-pandemic.

Despite all these factors, which are referred to as the ‘perfect storm’ London is still holding up relatively well and there will no doubt be a striking point where investors will begin to enter the market in larger numbers, placing their money in to one of the safest markets in the world.

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House prices still rising but that could change soon

House prices still rising but that could change soon

House prices still rising but that could change soon

The current climate could be short lived

House price growth hit a five-month high in February, according to Land Registry data but there are warnings that this will be short-lived. The Land Registry’s latest House Price Index shows UK property values rose 10.9% annually in February 2022.

That is the highest growth figure since September 2021, which coincided with the end of the stamp duty holiday on purchases up to £250,000.

This puts the average UK property price at £276,755. Annual house price growth was strongest in Wales where prices increased by 14.2% in the year to February 2022.

The lowest annual growth was in London, where prices increased by 8.1% in the year to February 2022.

Overall, UK prices were up just 0.5% on a monthly basis though, which may reflect recent warns that growth is set to slow. Other data revealed in the index for December 2021 also showed a sharp drop in transactions.  UK volume transactions decreased by 47.1% in the year to December 2021, according to Land Registry figures.

Sales in England decreased by 52.5% annually in England, by 18.1% in Scotland, 47.3% in Wales and by 16.9% in Northern Ireland.

“Soaring inflation, the rising cost of living, high energy bills and a lack of support from the government at last month’s Spring Statement mean many people are feeling the squeeze financially. The recent introduction of the new energy price cap and the national insurance increase has further heightened the pressure.

“With wages failing to keep up, the increased costs of moving home will likely put off prospective buyers and taking a first step onto the property ladder will be pushed out of reach for many. As a result, we could see house prices dip over the coming months.

“While house prices have remained robust for the time being, how the housing market truly reacts to the current circumstances is yet to be seen. However, it is unlikely that house prices will be able to continue rising at the same rate seen in recent times – particularly against the backdrop of an economy already trying to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

“If a slowdown does begin to materialise, a gradual fall in house prices is expected as opposed to a sudden drop. At present, there remains too much demand and too little stock, so house prices will likely remain high for some time yet.”

“The level of housing supply is 32% lower than before the pandemic and demand is up 134%.

“These latest figures suggest that the market continues to remain extremely competitive but the cost of living crisis may be a key contributor preventing home buyers and sellers coming onto the market due to financial uncertainty.

“However, slight growth in the number of properties coming to the market is being seen which is a positive shift in the right direction as a closing in the gap of supply and demand will enable house prices to start to stabilise.”

“These numbers show house prices continuing on their apparently inexorable upward path but that’s not quite what’s happening on the ground now.

“Demand is still well ahead of supply but concerns about the rising cost of living, squeezed pay packets and potentially further interest rate rises, are reducing price growth and transaction numbers.

“Looking forward, we expect activity to return to more ‘normal’ pre-pandemic conditions as supply picks up as part of the usual spring bounce.”

Whilst it is inevitable that the current growth cannot be sustained, the effect of debt erosion by inflation, combined with unprecedented demand, should prevent a drastic fall, but growth will certainly slow down towards the end of the year. It is vital that measures are taken to ensure that is is gradual slow-down and not a hard bump, otherwise we could experience a loss of confidence in the market not experienced since the early ninteies.

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Bedfordshire Market Update April 2022

Bedfordshire House Prices- Map

Bedfordshire Market Update April 2022

An overview of the property market in Bedfordshire

 

Properties in Bedfordshire had an overall average price of £340,159 over the last year. The majority of sales in Bedfordshire during the last year were semi-detached properties, selling for an average price of £326,370. Terraced properties sold for an average of £269,621, with detached properties fetching £501,950. Overall, sold prices in Bedfordshire over the last year were similar to the previous year and 8% up on the 2019 peak of £314,356.

This unprecedented price level is being stoked by the greatest imbalance between buyer demand and the number of properties available for sale that we have ever measured at this time of year. This is the strongest spring sellers’ market that we have ever seen in several metrics. Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data comments: “There’s a hat-trick of reasons for home-owners to follow the normal trend and make it their goal to sell this spring. Firstly, the potential to achieve a record price for their property.

“Secondly, the imbalance between high buyer demand compared to low available property supply is the greatest that we have ever seen for the start of a spring market, meaning that the chance of being able to pick and choose between several suitable buyers is strong. Thirdly, the proportion of properties finding a buyer within the first week is also at an all-time high for this time of year, so sellers with an appropriately priced and well-presented property can expect a shorter marketing period than the norm. Those who weren’t ready to take advantage of last year’s rush now have another chance to get on the market while these conditions last.”

There are now more than twice as many buyers as sellers active in the market, which is the biggest mismatch between supply and demand that we have ever recorded at this time of year. The speed of the market is further demonstrated by the fact that are there more than one in five (22 per cent) deals being agreed on Rightmove within the first week of being marketed.

This is double the figure for the same period in the more normal market of 2019. Almost half, 47 per cent, are having a sale agreed within the first fortnight, another indicator of high demand and the likelihood of finding a buyer quickly. While these unprecedented numbers are helping to drive prices to new records, they do also show that there are a number of properties that will remain on the market after this time and that may benefit from a price reduction.

BEDFORDSHIRE ENGLAND & WALES
£334,000 – Average Property Price £342,000 – Average Property Price
2% – Average Percentage Change 5% – Average Percentage Change
 £6,700 – Average Percentage Change £15,800 – Average Percentage Change

 

 

PROPERTY TYPE OTM SSTC % SSTC AVAILABLE % AVAILABLE
ALL 7,524 5,218 69.35% 2,306 30.64%
HOUSES 5,235 3,841 73.37% 1,394 26.62%
FLATS 1,699 987 58.09% 712 41.90%
BUNGALOWS 476 323 67.85% 153 32.14%
LAND 67 45 67016% 22 28.20%
COMMERCIAL PROPERTY 177 118 54.12% 89 32.83%

 

Bedfordshire-property-sales-share-by-price-range
Bedfordshire-property-sales-share-by-price-range

Bedfordshire house prices

 

Bedfordshire-real-house-prices

Bedfordshire-real-house-pricesCOMMENT

The Bedfordshire property market, whilst not the most active in the country, seems to be benefiting from sustained growth, with very little evidence that this will change. This is very good for confidence, which adds to the sustainability of the growth.