|Estate Agents Predict Post-election Boost for W12 Property|
After figures show sharp drop in sales during first three months
Like surrounding areas, the property market in Shepherd's Bush appeared to suffer from pre-election jitters in the first three months of 2015, with the volume of sales showing a sharp drop - down by 7.5% over the previous quarter and 31.5% compared with the same period last year.
Houses were hit hardest with no detached homes changing hands and just two semi-detached, and 20 terraced homes compared with 25 in the previous three months, possibly due to fear of a possible mansion tax.
Sales of flats and maisonettes by contrast remained stable with 64 sold, compared with 65 and there was better news for local agents on prices, with flats rising by 7.6% from £469,338 to jump above the half million mark to £505,109.
And though fewer terraced homes changed hands, the average went from £861,858 between October and December to £943,725, a rise of 9.5%.
The overall average average price meanwhile slid upwards by a modest 3.5% from £599,553 in the previous quarter to £620,744. This was off around 10% from the peak of £680,051 achieved last summer, but this was mainly due to the change in the balance of sales, with lower priced flats making up a bigger proportion.
Now that the election is behind us, local estate agents say they expect the property market to be back on the move. Chris Kerr of Kerr & Co says: " As is usual in the months before a General Election, the mood is always wary in numerous quarters across the land; with the housing market being no different because many buyers and sellers tend to sit on the fence until they know what they are facing.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) UK Residential Market Survey says that London house prices were back into positive territory in April, after seven months in decline, with short term predictions suggesting further rises.
28% more chartered surveyors saw prices rise in London in April, the first positive reading in the capital after seven negative months in the run up to the election. Price expectations over the next three months are also positive, with 11% more respondents expecting prices to rise further.
New instructions fell sharply with 36% more chartered surveyors seeing a decline, while the capital also saw an increase in buyer enquiries for the first time in a year as both these factors contributed to the pick-up in prices. Activity levels over the last month decreased most sharply in London where 21% more respondents reported a fall rather than rise in newly agreed sales
52% more respondents expect prices to rise over the next twelve months in London and the predicted average percentage price rise for houses in the capital over each of the next five years is 5.4%.
Meanwhile, in the lettings sector, supply has been rising steadily in London for three years now but the growth in tenant demand is not far behind. As a result, 39% more chartered surveyors expect rents to rise over the next three months which is the highest reading since the first half of 2011.
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist, said: “It is conceivable that the decisive outcome to the election could encourage a pick-up in instructions to agents and ease some of the recent upward pressure on house prices but it is doubtful that this will be substantive enough to provide anything more than temporary relief. Alongside an increased flow of second hand stock, it is absolutely critical that new government focuses on measures to boost the flow of new build.’’
According to Land Registry figures London as a whole continued to see the highest price rises in the country in March rising by 11.3% to £462,799. This compares to a 5.3% increase for England and Wales which brought the average price up to £178,007. The peak was achieved in November 2007 when the average reached £181,049.
The number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1 million decreased by 19 per cent to 851 from 1,049 a year earlier. Repossessions in England and Wales decreased by 45 per cent to 590 compared with 1,081 in January 2014. London was the region with the greatest fall in repossession sales with only 65 taking place in January 2015.
The numbers below are subject to revision as is it usual that some properties are added late to the Land Registry's database.
Source: Land Registry
May 25, 2015