Property market in London shows signs of pre-crash vigour
Simon Read is Personal Finance Editor at The Independent. He edits the Saturday Your Money section and writes the Daily Money column and Wednesday’s Midweek Money section in i newspaper. He also writes for the news and business pages of the Independent and i newspaper and is a regular money commentator on TV station London Live. He has won numerous awards including Consumer Finance Journalist of the Year.
Monday 29 April 2013
London's property market is showing signs of demand not seen since before the recent property crash with key indicators reaching levels last registered in 2007.
The proportion of the asking price achieved with London properties now stands at higher than 95 per cent – a level not witnessed since the summer of six years ago.
Similarly, the length of time a property spends on the market in London before being sold has fallen to 4.6 weeks – a level last seen in October 2007.
That London waiting time is almost half the national rate, reflecting the increasing divide between the relatively vibrant property market in the capital and the rest of the country.
The positive figures are published today in the latest housing survey from property analysts Hometrack. They show that average prices in London grew by 0.7 per cent in April, compared to a nationwide gain of just 0.3 per cent.
Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, said: "The real driver of price rises in April has been the London market, where demand has grown three times faster than supply over the last quarter."
North London and south-west London registered the strongest increases over the month, with 1.3 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively. Outside London the next highest levels of growth were seen in Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire, with 0.5 per cent and 0.4 per cent climbs.
"Buyer demand increased across all regions for a third month in a row – this is the same as last year but without the external stimulus of a stamp duty holiday," Mr Donnell said.
"But the new supply of housing for sale is failing to keep pace with demand. Over April agents reported just a 2.8 per cent increase in new homes coming to the market."
Last week a survey by the property website Zoopla suggested that confidence in the housing market among home owners has soared to its highest level in three years, with prices forecast to rise by £10,000 this summer.
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