The average London property price just passed £600,000 for the first time.
The average home in Greater London — which includes areas like Kingston and Croydon in the south, and Uxbridge in the north — is now worth £600,076, according to analysis of the latest Land Registry data by property-focused asset manager London Central Portfolio.
Prices first passed £500,000 in August 2014, and have increased nearly £100,000 in less than two years, an unprecedented level of growth.
Properties in London are now almost 60% more costly than they were prior to the 2008 financial crisis, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics
The Land Registry’s data shows that prices in the Greater London area grew by 14% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2016, and nearly 8% over the fourth quarter of 2015. Transactions also increased, growing 3.9%.
Not only did the general Greater London market expand in the first quarter, so too did the Prime Central London (PCL) market — inner London, where prices are highest. Prices grew by 2% from the previous quarter, with the average price reaching £1,673,906.
Transactions in the market also increased by 33% over the previous quarter, reflecting a desire from investors to buy houses and flats before April’s stamp duty changes came into force. That bucked the general trend in the UK market, as residential property transactions fell by over 45% from March to April, according to data from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Speaking about the Land Registry’s data, Naomi Heaton, CEO of London Central Portfolio said:
Whilst making for somewhat staggering reading, the increase in sales is not actually surprising. Buyers, wanting to access the PCL market, rushed in during Q1 to beat the 3% Stamp Duty deadline which created an uncharacteristic surge. This one-off anomaly is likely to be steeply eroded next quarter, magnifying the contraction in sales already anticipated across the rest of the year.
There are some signs that the runaway London housing market may be about to crash. Earlier this week, Business Insider reported that the number of new buyer enquiries about London housing fell in the latest survey from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. Declines in new enquiries “are strongly correlated with price falls about a year later,” a Financial Times report said.