Londoners confident of rising house prices, despite predictions to the contrary
- Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images
Despite recent slowdowns in house price growth, a new homeowner survey reveals that Londoners are confident of a sharp rise in the first six months of 2015.
According to the report by Zoopla, 89 per cent of London property owners expect the capital to experience growth of nine per cent by the summer – the fastest predicted rise in the country ahead of South East England, which estimates 8.75 per cent.
Andrew Ellinas, director of Sandfords Estate Agents, said: “The strongest market has historically been the mid-market, properties from £700,000 - £2 million, as it’s the most affordable sector here, and since the stamp duty change there has been very little difference, if in fact any, noted within this price bracket.
“We are entering into the crucial quarter before a General Election, so naturally this uncertainty has an impact on home-owner sentiment.
“However, regardless of which party comes into power, the market will surge once again following the result, but the decision will have implications on the subsequent level of that demand.”
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Overall, across the country 88 per cent of property owners expect values to climb a further seven per cent on average before July.
However Phillip Green, director of Goldschmidt and Howland Estate Agents, believes there is little evidence to suggest either North London or the rest of the country will register such figures.
“I think by the end of the year we’re probably likely to see an increase but I’d be surprised if it was as much as five per cent, let alone ten percent,” he said.
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“At the lower end of the North London market, under £950,000 – which is obviously where the new threshold for where stamp duty kicks in – it is a bit cheaper to buy pro rata. Finance is there and good value if you can get it, but there’s less people actually registering.”
Mr Green agrees that the result of the upcoming election – and the possible implementation of Labour’s controversial ‘mansion tax’ – could shape summer growth.
“If we see no mansion tax, we could see quite a substantial rise in the market; if we see mansion tax, we could see an adjustment of prices by ten per cent in terms of prices coming down.
“But in terms of the market for the next six months, I’d be hesitant to project any type of huge increase in the market at all.”