Latest UK housing data underscores the importance of location
The latest UK house price data released by Hometrack again illustrates the importance of location for those considering re-entering the UK property market. Whilst prices and demand remain soft for most of the country, in London, in contrast, average prices have advanced once more and vendors have achieved an average 93.5% of the asking price. However, the picture across London is not uniform and it is again the prime postcodes which are helping to support the wider average, according to Hometrack. The average time a property is advertised on the market provides a good insight to the relative strength of demand at both a regional and more localised level. The average time on the market in the northern regions and midlands currently stands at just under 3 months (11.9 weeks) which is the same as the position 12 months ago. In southern England the time on the market is 9.1 weeks, the highest level for almost 3 years, as demand weakens and sales periods extend. In London the time on the market is 6.5 weeks, lower than the 6.9 weeks average at the start of 2011, suggesting demand remains at higher levels for property in the capital.
Commenting on the findings Erica Evans of property search agents Expatfindaproperty.com said, “It is vital for buyers to concentrate on the specifics of the local market they are interested in. This latest report goes into the detail of which areas are performing and which are not and it is interesting to finally see that of the 243 micro markets which make up the London data, the vast majority are seeing price weakness, whilst areas such as Westminster and the usual suspects, Kensington, Chelsea and parts of West and South West London are not. It is at the local level that search agents such as ourselves earn our fee, as we ensure buyers are fully aware of price trends, even at the street level, if necessary.”
Prices in in Knightsbridge, Pimlico and the West End are now 20 to 30% above their 2007 high points, whilst in parts of east London, which many might have thought would benefit from the Olympic effect, prices have fallen by up to 20% from their 2007 peaks.
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