London's unluckiest homeowners

Posted 5 September 2016 by Ben Salisbury

Just two London boroughs saw prices fall in the year ending 1 June 2016 and they were both at the top end of the London property market...

The never-ending rise of house prices in London has ended for two of the capital’s prime property boroughs but areas with lower prices are still seeing healthy double-digit annual increases.

New research from online estate agent eMoov.co.uk has dubbed the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea and the borough of Hammersmith & Fulham as home to London’s unluckiest homeowners as both boroughs have seen a fall in house prices over the 12 months ending 1 June 2016.

Hammersmith & Fulham suffered a 3% dip in house prices, equivalent to £24,407 as average prices fell to £746,570 from £770,977, still over £200,000 higher than the London average.

Kensington & Chelsea saw prices fall by £80,653 from an average of almost £1.3m down to £1.21m. However, sympathy for homeowners in these areas is tempered by the fact that house prices are still amongst the highest in the capital, though an £80,000 loss in just 12 months would be hard for even the wealthy to bear.

Founder and CEO of eMoov.co.uk, Russell Quirk, said: “It comes as no surprise that the only two boroughs to have seen a decrease in values over the last year are two of London’s prime central boroughs. Despite a lot of attempted smoke and mirrors by high street agents in those areas, the decline of London’s most prestigious property markets has been evident for a while now.

“The most prominent factors in this decline have been the changes to stamp duty for buy to let and second homes, as well as the reduction of foreign interest in that particular area of London.”

Overall prices at the high end of the market are down 6% compared to 12 months ago. The City of Westminster has bucked this downward trend at the top end of the market by registering growth of 11%.

However, it is amongst the lower end of the London market that house price growth has been the healthiest. The London Borough of Newham has been the place to be in terms of property if you have a mortgage. With average prices at £355,950, only Havering, Bexley and Barking and Dagenham a cheaper option, even though prices in Newham have gone up by 21% over the last year, the highest in London.

Overall, the average house price in London is now £472,204, up 13% or £52,729, from August 2015 when they were £419,474. House price growth in London over that period is still higher than the average increase of 9% seen across the rest of the country.

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