Since the end of 2014, the London housing market has reacted to change after change – stamp duty taxation, general and mayoral elections, the EU referendum, and uncertainty in the financial sector and currency markets.
It is hard to know what is the new ‘norm’ for the market, and any comparison of current activity with previous years is fraught with the need for caveats and exclusions. That said, some of the key indicators suggest the market is heading for a period of relative calm over coming months.
In the areas covered by our London Lifestyle Zones, sale completions were up by 16.5% in Q2 compared to the first quarter of this year.
Although sales always pick up in Q2, this year is particularly encouraging, because it outstrips the average equivalent increase over the last decade, of 12.5%.
This above average growth in transactions suggests the market has recovered some of the confidence so badly dented by the decision to leave the EU. Our offices have also experienced an increase in new buyer enquiries. The average price of a home sold in London in Q2 2017 remains slightly higher (3%) than a year earlier, according to the UK HPI. However, it would be wrong to conclude that house prices are rising, our analysis shows that annual price growth is slowing and indeed falling in some areas.
Robert McLaughlin, Sales Director at Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, said:
“We have advised sellers in many locations across London that the current market requires sensible and realistic pricing. Pockets of high demand still exist but tend to be concentrated around specific streets, schools and transport hubs. Transaction volumes are increasing and properties priced realistically continue to sell well, but those looking to enter the market should speak to a local agent who really knows their patch in order to get an understanding of local activity and demand.”
Read our latest London Lifestyle Zones report to find out how the market is performing across the capital.