Continuing our theme of housing market fluctuations, it seems the season of ghosts and ghouls produced a resurrection of its own. After last week’s piece on the apparent plateau of super-£1m value properties on sale in London, the latest figures produced by estate agents Reeds-Rains make for interesting reading.
Figures produced by the Reeds Rains England & Wales House Price Index reveal that whilst overall property transactions in London are down 4% on quarter 3 in 2014, values continue to rise steeply. Indeed, the figures show a staggering average increase in value of £24,636 since the same period in 2014, this equates to 75% of the average Londoners yearly salary.
The further you delve into the figures the more alarming or, depending on your perspective, positive they become. Estimates put October 2015 as being the strongest October since those head pre-crash days in 2007, with an average spike of £2,500 a property throughout England & Wales or an increase in real terms of around £80 a day.
Most commentators attribute this resurrection of growth in the housing market almost exclusively to London and the South East as drivers. London alone has seen an annual growth rate of around 4.4%, whilst the South East tops that at 6.1%, the only major reason outside of the south east with a comparable growth rate is Mr Osbourne’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ (or Manchester to the rest of us) sitting on an annual growth of 5.0%.
The real question this raises is how long can this kind of growth remain viable, with many of London’s more exclusive borough’s all but out of reach for those outside of the much maligned 1%. It’s interesting to note that the figures also revealed that much the recent price increases in the capital have been in the unfashionable areas of Harrow, Newham and Barking and Dagenham, suggesting a move to new markets for prospective buyers as even those boroughs traditionally associated with sustained growth (Hackney et al) become unobtainable for the average Londoner. This of course whilst the top end of the market continues to slow (see last week’s post) as the increase in stamp duty continues to nip at property markets well heeled.
Whilst seemingly bleak for the average Londoner these figures do come with a caveat and need to be viewed in their wider context. Whilst most commentators forecast continued growth in the coming years it’s worth noting that we’re unlikely to see a rise to the stratospheric rises we saw in the pre-2007 housing market. Most estimates predict a slowdown from the levels of growth seen in the last five years, indeed when one considers that property prices have climbed some 104% on average in the capital since 2005 (even taking into account a large recession shaped depression), this seems a fairly logical conclusion to reach.
As ever I’m indebted to a housing price index, this edition is courtesy of the Reed & Rains England & Wales House Price Index for a more eloquent and complete picture please do check out the full report here : https://www.reedsrains.co.uk/uploads/asset_file/LSL-Acad-EW-HPI-News-Release-October-15-Adrian-Gill.pdf