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London homes now take 17 weeks to sell thanks to market over-supply

New figures from Hometrack show that a typical home in Greater London now takes 17 weeks to find a buyer - if it sells at all. 

The data consultancy says there are 1.5 homes coming to the market in the capital for every one that is actually sold. 

As a result price growth across London as a whole has been a muted 1.5 per cent in the past 12 months, far below almost every other city analysed in Hometrack’s monthly market monitor. 

By contrast Edinburgh, Nottingham, Manchester and Birmingham have seen annual price growth of between 7.0 and 8.1 per cent sustained, according to the consultancy, by attractive affordability and a lack of housing for sale.

The latest Hometrack UK Cities House Price Index reveals that overall city house price inflation across the 20 locations analysed is running at 5.5 per cent. 

But Hometrack says London shows no likelihood of seeing price falls overall  .

In fact, on average, they have seen a small 0.9 per cent rise over the last three months “suggesting the downward pressure on prices in London has moderated for now” says the latest report from the consultancy.

Some other cities such as Oxford and Cambridge are also experiencing supply of homes for sale growing faster than sales. 

However, elsewhere in the country the balance between sales and new supply is much closer; often there is a scarcity of homes for sale and together with attractive affordability is supporting robust house price growth.

“The headline rate of city house price growth continues to be driven by above average increases in regional cities where attractive affordability and a lack of housing for sale is supporting house price inflation” suggests Richard Donnell insight director at Hometrack.

“This latest report identifies other cities such as Cardiff, Leeds, Newcastle and Sheffield as having recorded a sustained uplift in the rate of growth over the last 12 months.

“Whilst demand for housing in London has cooled over the last 18 months and the rate of house price growth has slowed there are some signs that underlying market conditions are improving.  Last month we reported that residential values in London were falling across more than two fifths of postcodes and this has narrowed to 36% over March.

“Falling asking prices over the last 2 years, especially in central areas of London, together with deeper discounts from asking to achieved prices and greater realism on the part of sellers is likely to support sales rates and reduce the downward pressure on prices. 2018 could be the year when housing turnover in London starts to plateau having fallen by almost a fifth since 2014.”

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