House prices in Camden dip after start of year transaction surge

House prices in Camden dipped slightly in April 2016

House prices in Camden dipped slightly in April 2016 - Credit: Archant

The Camden property market remained muted in April as asking prices fell 0.3 per cent month on month according to a report.

The Rightmove house price index found that the average price of a property in Camden fell slightly to £1,150,149 this month following a strong start to the year with a surge in transactions from investors hoping to beat the stamp duty hike.

On April 1, a three percentage point stamp duty hike was imposed on people buying buy-to-let properties.

Asking prices in Camden were up 3.3 per cent in the month to March, while the time to sell in London also fell from 58 days in January to 47 days in February in March, suggesting that transactions were being rushed through before the April deadline.

Rightmove said that nationwide, the average price of a typical buy-to-let property – that with one or two bedrooms – dipped in April by £2,686 month-on-month to reach £182,926, as investors’ interest in the market became more subdued.

The monthly fall in the asking price of a typical buy-to-let property could now create further opportunities for first-time buyers, as they also tend to hunt for homes with two bedrooms or fewer.

Last week, a Bank of England survey of lenders found that demand for buy-to-let loans was expected to fall “significantly” in the coming months.

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Rightmove director Miles Shipside said: “Chains need a buyer at the bottom to enable everyone to move, and that was boosted by investors looking to avoid the three per cent levy introduced on April 1.

“While some felt that there would be a stampede of existing landlords selling to other landlords, these figures indicate that many of those who sold during the buy-to-let rush were actually first-time sellers looking to trade up.

“They used the heightened demand from investors competing fiercely with first-time buyers to springboard themselves on to the next rung of the housing ladder.”

Mr Shipside said that while some first-time buyers may now step into the market and fill gaps left by buy-to-let investors, “sellers of properties with two bedrooms or fewer need to realise that with less overall demand they need to price cheaper to match first-time buyers and highly-taxed investors”.