Sunday, 30 June 2013

Pylons and takeaways are biggest turn-offs for home buyers

  • Electricity pylons were the least favourite among respondents to a survey with a staggering 70% unwilling to buy a property near an electricity pylon. Those that would consider living by one, expect to see an average reduction of 24% off the asking price of a property
  • People expect a 25% discount on properties next to derelict land with rubbish, the highest of any of the blights
  • An overwhelming 87% of Londoners would live next to a bus stop, with 53% expecting no discount on the price of the property
  • Just under half of Londoners wouldn’t buy a property under a flight path. Those that would expect an average discount of 24%

A new survey by leading estate agent Greene & Co, which asked respondents whether they would buy a home next to one of nine noisy or unattractive locations, has shown that pylons, derelict land and the proximity of take away restaurants are the biggest turn offs for potential house buyers. 
Pylons were cited by 70% of respondents as being the least desirable blight to live close by, putting in second place derelict land (69%) and takeaway restaurants (57%) in third. However, buyers would live in close proximity to these blights if they received a discount of up to 25%. 
Bus stops were the least objectionable object with 87% of Londoners prepared to live by one while the UK sample followed by stating secondary schools (65%) and tube/trains (62%); these three locations also had the highest percentage of respondents happy to pay the full price for a property in London. Where buyers in London and the UK differed was their view of pubs, with (53%) of Londoners wishing not to buy next to a public house, compared to just 70% of the UK.
 The majority of Londoners would not buy a home next to derelict land (69%) or electricity pylons (70%) with a number demanding unrealistic discounts an average of 25% off the asking price.
 David Pollock, Managing Director at Greene & Co. comments: “Competition for property is rife across the country, especially in London, and this survey highlights that Londoners are being overwhelmingly more accepting of properties in noisy locations or next to perceived eyesores. However, it also shows that buyers expect to see varying degrees of discount off the asking price. Bus stops, schools and tubes or trains are mostly seen as selling points while electricity pylons and derelict land are definite no goes, with 70% of Londoners and those across the country declining to buy in these locations without substantial price rebates.

”Over half of Londoners (52%) would buy a property under a flight path, however, 35% would expect a 20-30% discount and a quarter (25%) would expect a discount of over 30%. The average property price in London now standing at £414,000*; and a the average 24% discount equates to  £103,500 off the asking price, which does bode well for homes potentially affected by  plans for a new runway at Heathrow.”

Prime Central London sales and rental results for June 2013

Prime central London residential prices increased by 0.4% in June and by 3.7% in 2013 to date

·         The Strongest price growth has been seen in the sub-£1m price bracket, where prices are up by 6.6% in 2013 to date

·         The biggest price rises during June were seen in Marylebone (2.8%) and the South Bank (1.4%)

·         Over the past 12 months, price growth in prime central London has totalled 6.9%

·         Prime central London rents fell by 0.1% in June

·         Rents have fallen by 0.4% over the first six months of 2013, but only by 0.1% during Q2 2012

·         St John’s Wood was the only area where rents increased in June, up by 0.3%

·         Rents are 21.8% higher than their post-financial crisis low in Q2 2009

Prime central London property prices rose again in June and are almost 60% higher than the market trough in 2009. However, as Liam Bailey, Global head of Knight Frank Residential Research explains, price growth is varied across price bands.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Property prices rise at fastest rate since 2010 say Nationwide

According to Nationwide’s monthly House Price Index, the average UK home gained 0.3% this month to stand at £168,941. The growth follows a 0.4% gain in April.
Property prices are now 1.9% higher than they were in June 2012 – the biggest annual increase recorded since September 2010.
Overall, 10 out of the UK’s 13 regions recorded positive growth. East Anglia was the strongest performing region, with annual price growth of 3.6%, whilst Yorkshire & Humberside was the weakest English region, with prices down 0.8% over the year.
Prices also fell annually in Scotland (-1.2%) and Northern Ireland (-2.1%).
Annual house price growth softened in Wales from 2.5% to 1.2%, but remained in positive territory.
Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said: “A number of factors are likely to be contributing to the recent acceleration. Demand for homes has been supported by further modest gains in employment, as well as an improvement in the availability and a reduction in the cost of credit, partly as a result of policy measures, such as the Funding for Lending Scheme. Signs of a modest improvement in wider economic conditions may also be playing a role in boosting buyer sentiment.
“At the same time, there are few signs that the supply of housing is improving significantly. Indeed, construction data point to a further decline in building activity in recent quarters from already depressed levels. For example, in Q1 2013 housing completions in England were down 8% compared to the same period of 2012 and around 40% below the average number of quarterly completions in 2007”.
On an annual basis, London continued to lead the way, with average values in the capital up 5.2% to stand at £318,214.

May house prices rise in the UK

May Market Trend Data from Land Registry

  • May house prices up 0.1 per cent since April: average house price in England and Wales now £161,969
  • 1,448 repossessions in England and Wales during March 2013
  • South East tops the table of regional applications with 278,186 in May
  • Over 56,800 residential properties in England and Wales lodged for registration in May ranging from £10,000 to £27 million

The May data from Land Registry's House Price Index shows an annual price increase of 0.5 per cent which takes the average property value in England and Wales to £161,969. The monthly change from April to May shows an increase of 0.1 per cent. Repossession volumes decreased by 27 per cent in March 2013 to 1,448 compared with 1,981 in March 2012.
  • The region in England and Wales which experienced the greatest increase in its average property value over the last 12 months is London with a movement of 5 per cent.
  • The East Midlands experienced the greatest monthly rise with a movement of 2 per cent.
  • The region with the greatest annual price fall is Yorkshire & The Humber with a decrease of 2.2 per cent.
  • The East saw the most significant monthly price fall with a decrease of 0.7 per cent.
  • The most up-to-date figures available show that during March 2013, the number of completed house sales in England and Wales decreased by 15 per cent to 52,090 compared with 61,334 in March 2012.
  • The number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1 million in March 2013 increased by 21 per cent to 625 from 517 in March 2012.
  • All regions saw repossessions decrease between March 2012 and March 2013. The region with the greatest fall in the number of repossessions was the North East where repossessions dropped by 39 per cent (March 2013 compared with March 2012   

10 most expensive streets and towns in Scotland

10 most expensive streets in Scotland
1Whitehouse Terrace, Edinburgh EH9£1,575,041
2Caledonian Crescent, Auchterarder PH3£1,518,960
3Easter Belmont Road, Edinburgh EH12£1,481,934
4Wester Coates Avenue, Edinburgh EH12£1,453,020
5Succoth Place, Edinburgh EH12£1,324,429
6Balmoral Court, Auchterarder PH3£1,307,576
7West Bowling Green Street, Edinburgh EH6£1,251,010
8Houston Road, Kilmacolm PA13£1,212,107
9North Charlotte Street, Edinburgh EH2£1,205,072
10Mackintosh Place, Irvine KA11£1,203,462

10 most expensive towns in Scotland
1Milltimber, Aberdeenshire£418,064
2Humbie, East Lothian£417,458
3North Berwick, East Lothian£329,503
4Longniddry, East Lothian£320,634
5Balerno, Edinburgh£318,347
6West Linton, Scottish Borders£316,856
7Gullane, East Lothian£315,582
8Kilmacolm, Inverclyde£314,756
9Juniper Green, Edinburgh£301,394
10Banchory, Aberdeenshire£293,255

10 most expensive streets and towns in Wales

10 most expensive streets in Wales
1Graig Avenue, Aberdare CF44£5,261,633
2Primrose Hill, Cowbridge CF71£992,726
3Ty-Gwyn Avenue, Cardiff CF23£978,377
4Llys Helyg Drive, Llandudno LL30£853,045
5North Cliffe, Tenby SA70£832,079
6Star Lane, Cardiff CF5£808,791
7Twyncyn, Dinas Powys CF64£799,670
8Cleddon, Monmouth NP25£775,429
9Llanerchydol, Welshpool SY21£766,463
10West Cliff, Swansea SA3£760,043

10 most expensive towns in Wales
1Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, The£365,550
2Usk, Monmouthshire£294,143
3Crickhowell, Powys£263,534
4Aberdovey, Gwynedd£263,506
5Newport, Pembrokeshire£262,461
6Monmouth, Monmouthshire£254,299
7Chepstow, Monmouthshire£249,873
8Dinas Powys, Vale of Glamorgan, The£248,989
9Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, The£246,671
10Marianglas, Isle of Anglesey£236,786

Top 10 most expensive UK streets

Britain now home to 8,230 streets with average property value over £1m

•             Number of Million Pound Streets in Britain rises 23% over past 12 months
•             There are now 323,684 homes worth over £1m in Britain - up 32% from 2012
•             Kensington Palace Gardens named again as Britain’s most expensive street
•             Kensington and Knightsbridge named as most expensive neighbourhood
•             Floor space the size of an average doormat worth £3,586 in Kensington

Top 10 most expensive UK streets

1Kensington Palace Gardens, London W8£36,066,148
2The Boltons, London SW10£23,375,758
3Grosvenor Crescent, London SW1X£19,768,963
4Courtenay Avenue, London N6£10,750,336
5Compton Avenue, London N6£10,006,014
6Frognal Way, London NW3£9,513,716
7Park Place Villas, London W2£8,980,477
8Montrose Place, London SW1X£8,980,468
9Cottesmore Gardens, London W8£8,813,429
10Palace Green, London W8£8,644,535

Highest value towns

1Virginia Water, Surrey£1,034,368
2Cobham, Surrey£842,806
3Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire£806,459
4Keston, London£785,399
5Esher, Surrey£774,265
6Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire£754,779
7Richmond, Surrey£718,229
8Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire£717,319
9Radlett, Hertfordshire£691,211
10Welwyn, Hertfordshire£687,558

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Welsh house prices fall £2,048 in a year

Fall in Welsh house prices continues: now £2,048 in a year year say LSL Property Services
 Prices now stand 1.3% lower than last year
 Average price almost back to the start of the year 

Oliver Blake, Managing Director of Reeds Rains estate agents, who has branches in Wales comments: “Unlike the rest of Britain, the Welsh housing market remains in slow reverse. Wales has seen the biggest annual average house price fall of any region: prices plummeted £2,048 in the past year. However, outside of Wales, only Londoners saw their houses rise significantly in value in  April. 
Sales in Wales are depressed compared to England, but London is the exception, not the rule, so the dramatic comparison is unclear.
“The torpor in the Welsh market is due to inadequate mortgage availability for first-time buyers. Encouragingly, more Welsh buyers are making enquiries – and plans for new estate agency businesses are also rumoured, so the interest is there. It’s the inaccessibility of mortgage finance for the average buyer that’s reining in demand. High rents and growing inflation are reducing the amount firsttime buyers can set aside to meet the large deposit requirements required by lenders. 
“This has lead to the fall: average prices rolled backwards by £219 in the last month. Despite the positive start to this year prices now stand a long distance away  – 10.8% lower  – from their record peak in 2007. Even by historic standards it’s poor.
 And the sinking prices are bucking the usual summer trend of sales rising as the summer season begins. House sales are low, especially at the bottom end of the market. And strict mortgage requirements and lenders’ caution have made it tough to boost sales activity substantially, which has also slowed down activity at the higher end of the market. 
In April house prices fell in 12 of the 22 unitary authorities. Within the country, there is a clear north/south 
divide. The 14 southernmost areas of Wales saw prices fall almost 19%, standing in stark contrast to the rise of 2.2% in prices in the six northernmost areas. Not only does this point to the population variations in different parts of the country, it also shows parts of Wales remain in post-industrial decline.

Table shows price April 2012/April 2013 followed by annual % price change

1 1 MONMOUTHSHIRE                          228,478 216,151 -5.4%
2 2 THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN                  226,295 207,962 -8.1%
4 3 CARDIFF                                184,848 186,243 0.8%
5 4 POWYS                                  171,414 183,545 7.1%
3 5 CEREDIGION                             186,259 177,289 -4.8%
6 6 PEMBROKESHIRE                          168,081 167,625 -0.3%
7 7 ISLE OF ANGLESEY                       160,447 164,984 2.8%
11 8 WREXHAM                                152,981 157,155 2.7%
10 9 GWYNEDD                                155,664 153,315 -1.5%
12 10 FLINTSHIRE                            150,020 152,084 1.4%
9 11 CONWY                                  156,480 150,348 -3.9%
13 12 NEWPORT                                146,412 149,756 2.3%
8 13 SWANSEA                                156,985 146,182 -6.9%
17 14 CARMARTHENSHIRE                        130,728 143,817 10.0%
14 15 DENBIGHSHIRE                           138,680 139,694 0.7%
15 16 BRIDGEND                               138,655 137,457 -0.9%
16 17 TORFAEN                                132,630 123,110 -7.2%
18 18 CAERPHILLY                             123,615 114,682 -7.2%
19 19 NEATH PORT TALBOT                      110,547 105,947 -4.2%
20 20 RHONDDA CYNON TAFF                     108,742 105,331 -3.1%
21 21 MERTHYR TYDFIL                         97,287 104,644 7.6%
22 22 BLAENAU GWENT                          82,444 85,598 3.8%

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Winners and losers in game of London house prices

Almost 80 years after being made famous by a board game, the highest and lowest average house prices of London’s most iconic postcodes remain occupied by Mayfair (£1,426,689) and Old Kent Road (£192,714). However, there has been plenty of movement in the areas in-between.
In 1936, the average value of a London house on a Monopoly board stood at £208, with players of the game purchasing Mayfair properties at £400 and those on Old Kent Road priced at just £60.
77 years on, with the property market in the capital remaining seemingly resistant to the shifts in house prices experienced in the rest of the UK, the average house price in these famous London streets now stands at £788,106.
Whilst there has been no change in the cheapest two areas, or the five most expensive, based on today’s average house prices every other colour category would see at least one change on a modern Monopoly board.
Political Price Rises
Whitehall, which was originally the seventh cheapest area to buy a property, has taken the biggest leap up the table and now, based on average house prices, stands ten places from its original board game position as the sixth most expensive area to buy.
With an average house price of £1,172,778, the heart of British Government would have moved to the top of the yellow areas, just below the ‘green’ giants of Oxford Street (£1,093,960), Bond Street (£1,235,485), and Regent Street (£1,244,476).
Falling From Favour
The greatest drop from its board game position would be experienced by Vine Street which, with an average house price of £399,818, would fall eight places, from 11th to 3rd least expensive, replacing Angel Islington at the bottom of the blues.
Fleet Street would also fall seven places, from 13th to 6th least expensive, with average house prices in the area now standing at £491,902.
Craig McKinlay, Mortgage Director, Halifax says: “Whilst drawing a comparison between the values placed on these areas in a board game and the actual average house prices provides a light-hearted look at the London property market, it does present a
realistic picture of the capital’s most popular postcodes.
“Many of the areas that have seen hypothetical increases from their board game positions are those which we have seen grow in popularity in recent years. Angel Islington is an example of this, surpassing its ‘blue’ peers of Pentonville and Euston Road, by establishing itself as one of the capital’s most cosmopolitan areas.
“The London property market remains one of the most diverse in the UK, with property prices that reflect this. Attracting buyers from both the UK and overseas and commanding premium prices seldom seen elsewhere, the most sought after streets of the capital remain those with excellent schools, upmarket shops and easy access to the City and other business centr

Annual price growth exceeds 10% in prime Central London


·      PCL house prices growing at fastest rate since the financial crisis
·      Prices rose by 4% in Q2 alone, taking annual growth to 10.2%
·      Improvements in economy and job prospects have boosted confidence
·      Cluttons believes this rate of growth is unsustainable

Prime Central London house prices are growing at their fastest rate since the financial crisis of 2008, with provisional figures for Q2 2013 showing quarterly growth of 4%, bringing annual growth to 10.2%, reports property consultants Cluttons.

Improved sentiment in the capital in terms of both the economy and job prospects, which are both showing signs of growth, have spurred even more buyers to step into the market or make a long overdue move.

While the supply of properties for sale in London sits at a record low, with Londoners keen to retain their exposure to the capital's market, demand for property has grown with an increase in overall job numbers, which now stands ahead of the economic peak. There has been a particular acceleration in highly skilled and highly paid employment, which is quickly translating into demand for high value homes.

Cluttons does not expect this pace of price growth to continue, however, as it has moved ahead of the long term trend and well ahead of income growth, which is unsustainable.

Sue Foxley, head of research at Cluttons, said: "The current fervent pace of growth will temper over the summer but remain positive in light of the limited supply, tending towards the long term average of around 7% for 2013 as a whole.

"Despite this, first time buyers and those seeking to move up the ladder to accommodate expanding families will face a marked reduction in their buying power in Central London, compared to a year ago. On the up side, those looking to cash in on the record prices in the capital before the summer slowdown are well positioned to make that move."

Monday, 24 June 2013

House prices rise 6.6% in London in 2013

The prime London residential market has recorded stronger price growth in the past three months than at any time since March 2012, defying expectations that values would flatline this year, according to the Savills quarterly prime London index. 
Across prime London prices rose 2.5 per cent between April and June, bringing annual growth up to 6.6 per cent from 5.5% at the end of the first quarter.  But, says Savills, there are significant differences in performance between locations and price bands that reflect differences in buyer profiles, reasons for purchase and their perception of the market, with evidence that some market segments are now looking fully valued.
The strongest growth was seen in the predominantly domestic markets of prime southwest London (running from Fulham to Richmond and Battersea to Wimbledon), where values rose 3.2 per cent in the last quarter.  Annual growth now stands at 8.5 per cent, much higher than the 4.4 per cent seen in prime central London.  Despite reduced city bonuses, these markets are benefiting from wealth accumulated prior to the downturn, new wealth creation, especially from West End hedge funds, and increased buying activity from international buyers working and resident full time in the capital.
Prime property in Fulham has been the star performer, outperforming all other districts across prime London with annual price growth of 13 per cent at the mid-year point.   This means that £1million invested in a Fulham property would have gained £2,500 per week over the past year, compared with a more modest £845 in prime central London.
"Fulham is classic example of an area which has undergone ultra-gentrification, attracting international and domestic buyers who, despite significant wealth, have been priced out of the central London market,” says Lucian Cook, director of Savills residential research.   ”Such migration of wealth is being seen from Chelsea to Fulham, Kensington to Battersea and Wandsworth, and from Notting Hill to Chiswick.
“At the same time, domestic wealth has resisted a move out of the capital in this recovery cycle, resulting in a concentration of demand in prime southwest London and similar markets such as Islington.”
Prime central London values rose by just 1.6 per cent in the quarter and 4.4 per cent year on year.  Here price growth has become concentrated in the very core locations of Mayfair, Chelsea, Belgravia and Knightsbridge which are the primary focus of new global wealth.
“Other central London markets have remained more reliant on world money and price growth has become more subdued,” says Cook.  “Locations such as Kensington, Holland Park, Notting Hill and St John’s Wood have been more sensitive to the effect of stamp duty changes for properties over £2 million than the core central locations. 
“This has focused buyers’ minds on whether certain segments of the market are fully valued for now, with the result that these areas barely registered any price growth in the quarter, while year on year growth ranges from just 1.6 to 2.3 per cent.”
Savills research also highlights distinctions in performance by price band.   Properties worth over £10 million have outperformed to date, to stand 38 per cent above their previous peak.  However, values appear to have plateaued for the time being, although transaction levels remain robust . 
At the end of 2012, Savills forecast that London’s prime residential markets would be static through 2013.   “It is increasingly clear that prime London cannot be considered a single, homogenous market,” says Cook, “but average price growth of 4.8% per cent at the half year point could not have been foreseen at the turn of the year.”