Merton, Hackney and Croydon were the surprise beneficiaries this month as property buyers sniffed around for bargains in London’s less prestigious boroughs and pushed up asking prices, website Rightmove said today.
The trio were among the five top-performing areas, along with Hammersmith & Fulham and Islington, as sellers jacked up the price of homes coming on to the market. Sellers in Merton demanded £477,462 on average – a 4.4% rise on January asking prices and more than double the 1.7% rise seen in Kensington & Chelsea.
Rightmove director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside said: “With sellers having a real upper hand in pricing power in the higher-priced and most sought-after locations, some buyer demand will ebb away from the most fashionable hotspots and flow into other boroughs. Buyers in the capital have a great track record of looking elsewhere to seek out new areas offering greater value and potential.”
Average London asking prices hit a record £486,890 in February, up 1.2% on January and 8.4% ahead of the same time last year, as an easier lending climate helps unlock the housing market but sellers benefit from scarce supply.
But growth in average asking prices is cooling, up just 0.7% on three months ago. Shipside adds: “It remains to be seen whether sellers can achieve their record new price aspirations, which will require buyers to find the extra money and justify to themselves the higher prices being asked.”