Tables turn between London and north with more capital house price falls

More figures have been revealed this week showing drastic dips in the house prices of some parts of London, while areas in the north – and particularly north-west – of the country are leaps ahead with rising prices.

Estate agency chain YourMove has found that some of the capital’s most popular areas, which had seen colossal house price rises during the boom years, have registered significant falls over the past 12 months, with average homes across London as a whole losing 2.6% of their value in the past year.
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In the borough of Wandsworth, where places such as Clapham, Balham and Putney have been attracting swathes of young professionals for several years, the average property price fell by more than £100,000 – around 15% – between last January and this January.

Southwark and Islington, both of which are hugely popular, central locations with premium house prices, have also seen major losses according to YourMove’s data, with prices in the former dropping from £666,000 to £585,000 and in the latter from £750,000 to £684,000.

While new buyers will welcome house prices becoming more accessible in the capital after years of unprecedented inflation, those looking to sell in the city will likely be put off and may hang onto their properties for longer, causing a slowdown in activity. On the other hand, investors looking for long-term future prospects will probably be staying clear of London as uncertainty presides.

Long-term solutions

The north-west of England now has the fastest rate of property price growth, with Blackburn seeing the biggest gains over the past year of 16.4% on average. Warrington, situated between Liverpool and Manchester, is another top performer with 10.3% house price increases, while Merseyside has made 8% gains and Greater Manchester has seen a 4.3% increase, according to YourMove.

Commenting on the London slowdown, the estate agency said: “This is the steepest annual rate of decline in London prices since August 2009, during the last housing slump, which was itself associated with the banking credit crisis of 2008-09.”

YourMove added: “Although its beginnings were in London, this has now spread to the south-east and north-east too. All three have seen prices fall on an annual basis.”

Oliver Blake, managing director of YourMove and Reeds Rain estate agents, said: “The industry needs to work together to provide a long-term solution to increase movement within the market.

“By building more homes and introducing more initiatives for each stage of the property lifecycle we should start to see more choice for first-time buyers, second steppers and last-time buyers.”

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