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House prices in London beat pre-crash peak and set to rise following election

PUBLISHED: 15:24 19 May 2015 | UPDATED: 15:24 19 May 2015

This converted chapel on Fellows Road was listed the day after the election with Benham & Reeves for £3million and is now under offer

This converted chapel on Fellows Road was listed the day after the election with Benham & Reeves for £3million and is now under offer

Noga Photo Studio

House prices in London are nearly 40 per cent higher than they were at their previous pre-crash peak in 2008.

According to the latest house price index from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which measures sold prices, the value of property in London rose 11.2 per cent year on year to March 2015, taking average property prices in the capital to £498,000.

However, a separate survey by Rightmove found that asking prices in Camden fell 4.3 per cent in the year to May, chiming with widespread reports of a lull at the top of the market in the run up to the election and a general softening in prices.

James Morton, director of Benham & Reeves, said: “Up until the election we were 48 per cent down on demand compared to last year.

“We’ve certainly seen an increase in demand since the election and supply has gone up too.”

“A lot of people who perhaps stepped away from the market last year when the market got really overheated and then with the threat of mansion tax might be returning now.

“We’re busier than we were. We’re taking on some really nice saleable stock and we’re having a good response from it but we’re not seeing the market going mad.”

Although Morton is quick to deny suggestions that the market is set to heat up to last year’s levels, Rightmove reported that asking prices in the borough saw the biggest month-on-month increase in London between April and May, rising from £1,022,989 to £1,103,710.

The property portal also predicted a surge in new seller numbers, citing a 21 per cent jump in new stock following the 2010 election and vendors who were holding off in the month or two before the election are already listing properties with agents across north London.

Mark Sumray of Benham & Reeves Highgate office said: “We’re about 30-40 per cent up on usual stock levels having had a number of new things, from £500,000 to £6million, hitting the market since the end of last week. People were waiting for the election result.”

Matthew Stacey, director at Matthew James in Kentish Town, also reported high levels of supply but hasn’t yet noticed any impact from the election.

He said: “We’ve got a lot of stock coming in at the moment so it stands to reason you’ll get a lot of clients coming in.

“We’ve seen a lot of upper range sales this year for Kentish Town but our quickest selling properties are down at the lower end of the market.

“I haven’t heard a single client say they were holding off because of the election though. The only people I’ve heard that from is estate agents.”

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