Camden and Haringey house prices fall in strangest market since 9/11

North London is experiencing the strangest housing market since 9/11 according to some agents

North London is experiencing the strangest housing market since 9/11 according to some agents - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

House prices in Camden and Haringey fell this month as activity across the London housing market fell and agents reported the strangest market since 9/11.

In Haringey prices decreased by 3.4 per cent both month on month and annually, reaching £561,762 in April, according to the latest Rightmove House Price Index. The report also found that Camden saw average asking prices decrease 2 per cent, from £1,044,045 to £1,022,989, but recorded a year on year increase of 3.1 per cent in the borough.

Gary Rosenthal MD of Whitehalls, who market property in Highgate, Crouch End, Dartmouth Park, Tufnell Park, and Archway, said: “This is the funny thing this time. Last year there was a lack of stock and the buyers were queuing up and everything was going to show days. This year there’s a lack of stock but the buyers aren’t coming out to play by any stretch.

“Everyone’s in the same boat, there’s a real lack of property. Buyers are being a bit more discerning. I think they realise that last year prices overshot.

“We as agents have found it difficult to know where values are. That’s why we’re seeing properties coming to market at ‘x’ and then a couple of weeks later reducing to ‘y’.”

The north London figures contrast with the capital as a whole, where house prices increased by 2.5 per cent this month, as the number of properties being put on the market dropped by 3.3 per cent.

The average time taken for a property to sell also dropped from 61 to 56 days as buyers in Greater London as a whole returned to the market for the traditionally busy spring period.

Miles Shipside, Rightmove director and housing market analyst said: “It is traditionally one of the best times of year to market, but it seems that either would-be sellers are more interested in postponing until after the Easter holidays, or the political uncertainty surrounding segments of the market has caused some owners to stay put until after the election.”

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The latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey also reported that both house sales and buyer enquiries plateaued in March.

The report also found that the second monthly decline in new properties coming to market pushed asking prices up in many regions of the country.

However, in London surveyors reported that buyer enquiries and new sales fell for the eleventh consecutive month and 24 per cent more surveyors reported a decline in the number of new properties coming onto the market for sale.

Mr Rosenthal suggested that this was in part a result of an increased difficulty of obtaining a mortgage, despite record cheap deals, alongside pre-election uncertainty.

He said: “There’s a knock on effect of fears of a potential mansion tax. Owners tend to trade up, so we’ll have people around here living in £1.5million houses, where the next step would take them over the £2million bracket. Those owners are thinking ‘hold on, I’m just going to wait and see what happens.’

“But it’s a weak excuse. I’ve seen it all but this is a very strange market place.

“The nearest thing I’ve seen is post-9/11 when the Americans were pulling their staff out of London. The market did stagnate for a while but not like this. None of us have seen it like this.”

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist said: “The boost that was given to the housing market by the Help to Buy scheme has begun to dissipate and activity levels have slipped back.

“Even more worrying are the tentative signs that price momentum could be set to pick up once again as the supply of stock to the market continues to fall.

“Anecdotal evidence does suggest that election uncertainty may be having some impact on the market, but underlying the trends visible in the latest survey is a very real housing crisis which will urgently need to be addressed by the next government.”