Housing transactions in central London ‘at all time low’

Housing transactions continue to fall across England and Wales, with the number of sales in part of the capital reaching an all time low, according to the latest housing index.

The LCPAca Residential index shows that this trend is particularly pronounced in “prime” central London. Transaction in this area have fallen 16.8 per cent over the past year, and are down 45 per cent when compared to 2014.

According to LCP this equates to less than 70 sales a week.

LCP’s chief executive Naomi Heaton says: “”This is 2.7 per cent less than the previous low of 3,704 seen during the global financial crisis in June 2009. It is the lowest level on record.

“It is hard to see how this decline in transactions can be reversed until there is an agreed outline plan for Brexit. International buyers, already affected by successive tax increases and now exposed to negative coverage of the current political situation, are holding back.”

This trend is seen elsewhere in the country: in greater London housing transactions have also continued to fall, dropping by 7.6 per cent over the year. LCP says this is due to higher taxes and continued uncertainty about the property market.

While in England and Wales on a whole transaction have continued to slow, albeit at a less dramatic rate. In total annual transactions have fallen to  779,638, a drop of  3.2 per cent.

This index shows that house prices are remain pretty flat across the country. In Greater London prices rose by just 1.5 per cent, while across England and Wales there was a nominal annual growth of 2.4 per cent.

The lack of liquidity in the market though appears to be pushing prices up in prime central London, with house prices increase by 4.9 per cent in this region. LCP says this is due to an improved performance in the high value sector.

The survey also shows figures for the new build market. In all market new build still attracts a premium over existing stock.

This value is greatest in prime central market new build prices remain at a high premium of 39.8 per cent over existing stock. The average price of a new build property in this region now stands at  £2,653,256.

In greater London new the average new build is now priced at £791,455, a 31.1 per cent premium over existing stock.

Meanwhile across England and Wales, the average new build is priced at £286,679 representing a 14.8 per cent premium over existing stock.

Heaton adds: “Falling transactions is the common theme throughout all the sectors reported on, and it appears there is still very little cause for optimism. Growth has been stifled by the government’s failure to give a clearer picture of what a post-Brexit landscape will entail for homeowners and investors alike.

Those who have been sitting tight will have seen very little to encourage them to take the plunge in the current climate, particularly as the growth in the value of their own property has been nominal.”

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