House prices across the UK rose by 2.6 per cent in the 12 months ending in April, according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics. Prices in London are rising faster than elsewhere in the country.
Bien Media client Giles Hannah, managing director of London agency VanHan, says: ‘The national average figures demonstrate a clear divide between London, the home counties and the UK as a whole. In London, house prices will likely continue an upwards trend over the next three years owing to the severe lack of supply of new homes actually ready and completed.
‘Internationals from Singapore and Hong Kong are buying off plan in new developments, particularly Covent Garden, which has seen prices soar in the past year. This is not a bubble; the market is simply rising with increased demand, a severe lack of supply and an improving economy.
‘In prime central London, wealthy French nationals are evading France’s tax hikes and fuelling price rises as they relocate their families ahead of the new school year in September. Prices are subsequently rising in Holland Park, Notting Hill and South Kensington.
‘However, agents are concerned that UK homeowners aren’t moving but taking a wait and see approach because they can’t compete with wealthy international buyers who have exchange rate advantages. Demand for property may be high but there are very few UK transactions taking place and agents have little new stock to sell. This position is hardly likely to improve over the summer months.’