Property price growth is on the slide in London. New data has revealed that two-fifths of postcodes in the capital showed a fall in annual property prices, down to 1 percent from 4.3 percent a year earlier.
The figures from Hometrack showed that 42 percent of London postcodes actually had negative house price growth, the worst figures seen in a decade.
Hometrack’s monthly house price index said “weak demand” was translating into a fall in house prices in London. Meanwhile, Edinburgh’s house price growth is now at 8.0 percent with Liverpool just behind at 7.8 percent, followed by Birmingham and Leicester at 7.7 percent.
Of the 46 local authorities in London, 15 saw house prices fall in the last year. The biggest drop was in the City of London (7.9 percent), but property hotspot such as Camden (1.9 percent) and Islington (1.4 percent) also registered a decrease.
Factors impacting sales
According to Hometrack, which analyses the UK property market, there are several factors to blame for the drop in London house prices. Its monthly report stated: “This is a result of tax changes impacting overseas and domestic investors and stretched affordability levels for owner occupiers that have been compounded by Brexit uncertainty.
“Sales volumes are first to be hit when demand weakens, and housing turnover across London is down 17 percent since 2014.
“Prices are next to follow, but the scale of current price falls remain modest.”
While sellers may not be achieving the price they hoped for when marketing their property, falling prices are an opportunity for buyers to secure a better deal. Give the expert team at Capital Conveyancing a call on 0207 406 5880 to kickstart your sale or purchase in London.
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Asking prices for properties in London are dropping, according to figures from home-listing website Rightmove. Its latest report said the sixth consecutive fall in asking prices in the capital suggests London’s boom phase is over.
That means home sellers are becoming more realistic about the price they want for their property, Rightmove said, while those who want a higher price are delaying putting their home on the market, stifling the supply and stopping prices falling even further.
Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove and housing market analyst, said: “End-of-the-boom prices normally readjust more quickly if there is an over-supply of sellers trying to exit their property investments.
“However, the lack of new listings in the typically pricier more central locations indicates that some would-be sellers are holding back, preventing a glut of competition from forcing prices downwards.
“Cash-rich owners are showing that they are able to sit tight instead of coming to market now and await their hoped-for price recovery.”
London’s housing market lagged behind the rest of the UK for all of 2017 in asking prices and that pattern has continued into 2017. Only the south-west reported a decrease in asking prices in the latest Rightmove report with the rest of the UK seeing an increase.
Rightmove identified Livingston in West Lothian as the town with the fastest sale agreed time of 17 days, with the Warwickshire towns of Rugby and Nuneaton the quickest English towns to agree sales with 21 days.
Mr Shipside added: “London is a myriad of different markets, under-pinned by a historical shortage of affordable supply. Rapid price rises in recent years have resulted as usual in a readjusting market, with overall year-on-year price falls in new seller asking prices of 1 percent.
“If fewer sellers come to market, then competition and downward price pressure will be less. However, unless you have an extra-special property, you may have to sacrifice some of the substantial price gains of the last few years to attract more buyer interest and effect a speedier sale.”
Rightmove monitored 134,556 asking prices from January 7 to February 10.
There are now more than 750,000 homes in the UK worth more than £1 million, making us a nation of growing property millionaires.
Data from online property specialists Zoopla showed that the number of properties valued at £1m plus stands at 768,553. And the town of Guildford in Surrey has the most property millionaires in the country with 5,889. Meanwhile, nearly half of all homes (49 percent) in the Buckinghamshire town of Beaconsfield are valued at £1m or more, demonstrating that the north-south divide is alive and kicking in the housing market.
Those seven-figure plus homes are only 2.7 percent of the entire UK housing stock. But their number has risen by 143,476 since Zoopla last analysed the data in August 2016.
It’s no surprise that London and the south-east dominates the figures. The capital has an incredible 430,720 homes that are worth more than a million, while there are 180,397 million-plus properties across the south-east.
Wales has the fewest property millionaires. There are just 2,223 homes valued at seven figures and upwards there.
Zoopla has also unveiled a new online calculator so users can put in their postcode and find out when their own home might hit that magical million mark.
Lawrence Hall of Zoopla said: “While there might be a greater number of £1 million-plus properties than ever before, the data shows that they still only represent a small fraction of all UK housing stock.
“Our latest tool allows curious homeowners to dream a little and see when their home might hit the million-pound mark.” –
Here are the top 10 UK regions by £1 million-plus properties:
A digital revolution in conveyancing could be on the way, starting at the Land Registry after changes to its rules were announced this week.
The organisation, which holds the title of ownership of all land, property and mortgaged property in England and Wales, is to introduce fully digital conveyancing documents with e-signatures. This will eliminate the need to use paper deeds and could potentially speed up the conveyancing process, where land and property is bought and sold.
The Land Registry is a statutory body and anyone buying or selling land and property, or taking out a mortgage, must have that transaction recorded by them. At the moment the Land Registry holds information relating to more than £4 trillion worth of property and land ownership in England and Wales, a figure that includes some £1 trillion worth of mortgages.
There was a public consultation on the proposed changes last year and now the organisation will introduce its digital registration from April 6, 2018. The digital package will speed up the registration process but place a strong focus on ensuring the registry stays safe from cyber-attackers and digital fraud.
Graham Farrant, the chief executive and Chief Land Registrar, said: “Our customers are central to everything we do, and we want to make dealing with us quicker and simpler by providing more services through digital technology.
“These changes are an important enabler for our digital transformation, and I want to thank our customers for their positive responses to the consultation.”
London’s planning rules are being ripped up to increase the number of affordable homes built in the capital. Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced the density limits will be removed to help meet ambitious targets for more housing in the city.
The rule changes aim to boost the number of homes built near borough centres and transport hubs, with more small sites being developed while the greenbelt remains untouched.
Mr Khan’s draft London Plan was launched on November 29. Abandoning the current planning rules in place for residential development, Mr Khan aims to encourage house builders t develop small sites across London’s 32 boroughs in the belief that up to 24,500 new, affordable homes can be created on those smaller projects. The London Plan aims to build 65,000 new homes in London every year.
Higher-density developments will be encouraged close to rail, Tube and bus links.
Mr Khan said: “With London’s population expected to increase by 70,000 every year, reaching 10.8 million in 2041, it’s vital we properly plan for growth with new affordable homes in every area of the capital.
“I am using all of the powers at my disposal in my first draft London Plan to tackle the housing crisis head on, removing ineffective constraints on home builders so we can make the most of precious land in the capital to build more homes in areas with the best transport links.
“My London Plan sets out how we are planning for the challenges our great city faces but crucially focuses on my vision of a London that welcomes growth, celebrates its diversity and ensures every Londoner gets the opportunity to fulfil their potential.”
Councils will consider planning applications for the smaller sites on a case-by-case basis, weighing up the value of the development to their area based on the existing infrastructure. That will allow an increase in the number of homes built, typically between one and 25 houses.
Jasmine Whitbread, chief executive of business group, London First, said: “London’s success comes from the people who live and work here and we’ve been failing to build the homes they need for too long. By being smart about how and where we build, making better use of land and setting targets that councils can and must hit, the Mayor will help open a door for the countless people priced out of a place to call home.”
And Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders said: “Making better use of the many existing small sites that are scattered over the capital is essential if we are to build the number of new homes Londoners need.”
First-time buyers attempting to get on the housing ladder in London have been given a boost with the abolition of Stamp Duty on properties worth up to £300,000.
Those buying a home for the first time that’s worth up to £500,000 in London and other expensive areas across England won’t have to pay a penny of Stamp Duty on the first £300,000 of that transaction.
Chancellor Philip Hammond made the announcement on the Stamp Duty changes in the Budget today, telling the House of Commons that 80 percent of first-time buyers will now avoid paying the land tax.
He said: “I want to take action to help young people saving to own a home. With effect from today, for all first-time buyers up to £300,000, I am abolishing Stamp Duty altogether.
“To ensure that this relief also helps first time buyers in very high price areas like London, it will also be available on the first £300,000 of the purchase price of properties up to £500,000.”
Stamp Duty reform had been discussed at length before the Budget with property and financial experts united on viewing the tax as a barrier to social mobility and an increased burden on younger buyers.
Stamp Duty Land Tax is paid on all residential property worth £125,000 or more and on commercial properties sold at more than £150,000. It is levied on a sliding scale and raises around £11 billion a year for the Treasury.
There were other measures that focused on the housing market, too. Mr Hammond set a target of 300,000 new homes being built every year in England by the mid-2020s, more than double the average number currently being built. An extra £44 billion will also be spent over the next five years to improve construction skills, encourage small builders to return to the house-building market and free up land for building.
Urban areas, in particular cities and large towns, will be targeted to provide high-quality, high-density housing, while councils and London boroughs will be able to impose the full council tax on empty properties to encourage owners not to leave them vacant.
After what seemed like years of unrelenting growth, it appears that London house prices are finally falling. And while that’s potentially bad news for sellers, it offers a ray of hope to buyers desperate to get on to the property ladder in the capital.
A recent report in the Sunday Times suggested 40 percent of homes on sale in London have had their asking price cut and, based on the latest report from the Hometrack UK Cities House Price Index, the newspaper says the capital is performing the worst of all areas in the UK property market.
Hometrack’s September 2017 report says the annual rate of price inflation in London is 2.3 percent, and with inflation now running at 3 percent, that means a fall in real terms in 85 percent of London areas.
The worst areas for price growth are in inner London, including the City, Kensington and Chelsea, Tower Hamlets, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Richmond upon Thames. Price growth was best on the outskirts, led by Epping Forest, Gravesham, Runnymede and Waltham Forest.
Hometrack’s figures were confirmed by the latest data from Acadata and LSL Property Services, the research practice that analyses house price indices and trends across the UK.
According to its monthly report, the “traditional North-South divide has been upended” with price growth slowing in the south while the north is proving more resilient. Its figures suggest that prices in Greater London fell by 0.8 percent in August but individual boroughs showed fluctuations.
The Hometrack report said further price falls are “inevitable” because sellers will have to readjust their expectations in line with what buyers are willing to spend.
What that adds up to is greater power in the hands of the buyer who can expect to drive a hard bargain when they find the home they want. Meanwhile, sellers keen to make a fast sale are having to accept the new reality of fewer potential buyers and reduced offers.
If you are ready to make your move in the London property market, Capital Conveyancing is your first port of call. Our team of specialist conveyancers know the London scene inside out and offer fast and comprehensive conveyancing services to buyers, sellers and investors. Get an instant quote or request a callback and we’ll be in touch immediately.
A site in east London will be the first development in the capital to offer only affordable housing. The 330 new homes in Waltham Forest, Walthamstow, will be aimed at first-time buyers. The former Webbs industrial estate, which had lain derelict for seven years, was bought by the Greater London Authority last year and the tender to develop affordable homes was put out to tender.
Catalyst Housing Association won the right to be preferred bidders and they will now work with architects CF Moller and other housing associations to create the development. Along with a variety of homes, the site will also house creative workspaces, artist studios and retail units.
The homes will all be affordable and also eligible for shared ownership to widen as far as possible the net of potential owner-occupiers.
London mayor Sadiq Khan pushed through the purchase of the land, which lies in Waltham Forest borough, after a proposal to build a free school there fell through.
Mr Khan said: “I’m doing all I can to help fix London’s housing crisis, but it will take time to turn things round. We’ve already taken big steps forward – my new planning rules will help raise affordable housing levels in new developments, and my £3.15 billion funding deal with government will help to build an extra 90,000 genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy.
“I’m working hard to identify more brownfield sites across London that we can use to build the thousands of affordable homes London so desperately needs.”
The mayor has put aside an initial £250 million to buy and prepare land for new and affordable housing, outlined in his draft Housing Strategy for London. Any profit made from selling land to developers will be reinvested in buying more land across the capital.
The Housing Strategy aims to build 90,000 affordable homes by 2021 and encourage the building of more; get a better deal for private renters; support community builders and other new housing providers; and help tackle homelessness.
Homebuyers looking for a mortgage can expect digital changes to increase competitiveness in the lending market, according to new research. Technology is allowing lenders to offer more products tailored to specific customers, the Council for Mortgage Lenders’ Mortgage Tech UK conference was told.
The CML commissioned research from Accenture, which included interviews with both lenders and customers in the UK mortgage market, as well as the most up-to-date developments in the lending sectors around the world.
Their conclusions, entitled Digital Change and Mortgage Borrowers, were presented to delegates at the conference in London on June 27.
The research suggested that 84 percent of mortgage lenders think technology will improve both customer experiences and relationships; that 76 percent say it has the ability to improve their own operational capabilities; and 40 percent believe digital change will unlock the power of data.
More pertinently for mortgage borrowers, the researchers concluded that 68 percent of those they interviewed believe digital change will put customers in greater control of their lending.
The research identified the elements that are beginning to transform the mortgage market, including apps that allow customers to arrange and manage their mortgages. But it was also clear, the conference was told, that many clients still want to speak personally to an adviser about products that remain financially complex.
CML director general Paul Smee said: “This report highlights the enormous potential of technology in the mortgage market – a huge, process-driven industry with more than 11 million customers.
“It is already enhancing what lenders are able to offer their customers, as well as improving the efficiency of work behind the scenes.
“The pace of change will not slow, and firms will need to ensure that their plans for developing technology are underpinned by the clearest possible understanding of all the implications of digital change.”
While digital changes may revolutionise the mortgage market, the conveyancing element to buying or selling a property remains the same for now. You need a conveyancing solicitor or conveyancer to progress your transaction quickly and efficiently.
Capital Conveyancing can make that happen. Our sales team are standing by to give you an instant, no-obligation quote. Call now on 0207 406 5880 or start your quote journey here.