Westminster and Barnet buck trend for August property price dip

Property prices in Westminster and Barnet rose in August

Property prices in Westminster and Barnet rose in August - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The drop in London house prices usually seen during August holiday season is at its smallest since before the credit crunch in 2007.

Some London boroughs have bucked the trend entirely with prices in Barnet and the City of Westminster rising in the month to August.

According to the latest Rightmove House Price Index, prices in Barnet increased by 7.1 per cent to reach £717,397 this month, the biggest rise in the capital. In Westminster, asking prices increased 4.5 per cent to £2,146,526.

The property website found that across London, August asking prices were 1.3 per cent lower than in July, the smallest summer discount that sellers have offered prospective buyers since the onset of the credit crunch in 2007.

Last year, the discount averaged out at £17,697, while in 2015 this has reduced to just £8,289.

Miles Shipside, Righthmove director and housing market analyst said: “Buyers can normally pick up some bargains in August as sellers who are marketing their homes when they should be holidaying often have a pressing need to sell and mark their prices down pretty aggressively.

“While the average discounts on properties put up for sale this month compared to last is not unsubstantial it is under half the figure of last year”.

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According to the website, the number of newly marketed properties fell by 18 per cent compared to the same period last year, with lower stock levels and high demand combining to drive prices up.

Rightmove attributes this reluctance to sell to three main factors: the costs of moving, the lack of property to buy and the shortage of affordable property.

Moving costs have risen as lenders are now requiring more substantial deposits than in the past, meaning that potential vendors increasingly expand and improve rather than move.

This, in turn, means that high demand locations have suffered from property gridlock, as would-be sellers hesitate to come to the market putting an upwards pressure on prices.