Glimmer of Optimism From The Land Registry

Local housing market showing signs of recovery

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Local house prices are beginning to stabilise according to recent statistics issued by the Land Registry.

The statistics show that prices in Hammersmith and Fulham continued to decline in the first five months of this year but appeared to bottom out between May and June.

The average price of a property in the borough in June was £416,193 – just 0.1% lower than the average price in May.

While the latest Land Registry figures only go up to June 2009, local estate agents say they have witnessed significant price increases in recent months.

"Considering the dire state of the economy we have seen an unexpected 10% bounce in house prices over the last four months," said Philip Wooller, manager of Douglas & Gordon's Hammersmith & Shepherd's Bush office. "This has been driven by an acute lack of stock, increased confidence and pent up demand from those who have been renting. Buyers are still seeing discounts brought about by the credit crunch, but the market has stabilised and it seems prices will hold for the foreseeable future."

However, he warned that those wanting to sell had to be realistic about the price they could expect to achieve: "Talk of the acute lack of stock in London must not be confused with a large supply of overpriced, bad property. Vendors of sub-standard properties can expect to wait some time before they achieve their unrealistic price expectations. In my opinion I think we will see a lot more property coming on in September/October, so people are better off selling now before the seasonal increase of stock in the autumn," said Wooller.

Land Registry statistics show that while the volume of sales in Hammersmith and Fulham dipped at the beginning of the year, it began to rise sharply again in March. In April – the latest month for which volume figures are available – 80 properties changed hands in the borough, compared to just 55 in February.

Douglas and Gordan's Philip Wooller said there were now many people out looking for property in the Shepherd's Bush area: "The relatively cheap cost of borrowing is attracting cash rich buyers who see bricks and mortar as a better alternative investment to stocks and shares, or money in the bank. People with no property to sell and those with large amounts of cash who don't want to miss the bottom of the market are out in their droves looking for small two and three bedroom houses. Many of these buyers work in The City and are attracted to the Shepherd's Bush area because of the direct link via the Central Line," he said.

Source: Land Registry

August 12, 2009