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13 Thursday Dec 2012

UK: no single housing market Posted by:

UK house prices increased by 1.7 per cent in the 12 months to September, down from a 1.9 per cent rise in the 12 months to August, according to the Office for National Statistics. However, this national average masked significant regional differences with London prices rising by 5.2 per cent over the period while prices in Northern Ireland fell 10.1 per cent.

Bien Media client Gabby Adler, an independent property finder concentrating on sourcing family homes to buy or rent in Richmond-upon-Thames, commented:

‘London’s strong performance continues to drive the housing market, a trend which is expected to carry on into next year, while in other parts of the country there have been considerable falls in values. Yet even in London there are price reductions as vendors become more realistic on pricing. No price bracket seems immune, with prices cut on high-value, multi-million pound properties, down to entry level homes.

‘Properties of up to ¬£1.2m are selling fast but properties above that level are taking a long time to sell, on average. This is particularly true of properties in the ¬£2m-plus bracket, which has been hard hit by the stamp duty increase in April.

‘I have seen more enquiries from investors than usual, particularly looking for properties sold at a discount which can then be done up to add value.

‘Overall, it is fair to say that there is still a distinct lack of confidence and until it returns, house prices on the whole will be flat and bump along the bottom, give or take a few significant variations from region to region.’