Research suggests outer boroughs of London have become the fastest selling in the capital.
Analysis by the Property website Zoopla shows areas such as Sutton and Havering represent the quickest to go under offer after going on the market.
Experts said the study is further evidence of the strength of outer London’s property market in comparison to the “prime” central London market, which has stalled in recent years.
Sutton properties take an average of 28 days after being listed for sale to get an offer, the research suggests. Havering and Bexley were next at 29 days, which are among the fastest places to sell property in Britain, with Northampton (27 days) top of the pile. All the “prime” inner London areas take longer than the national average of 47 days.
The analysis was based on a sample of for-sale listings, published on Zoopla on or after January 1 last year, and how long it took for their status to change to “under offer”. Separate research has shown property prices in outer London rising by up to 20 per cent a year.
David Fell, research analyst at Hamptons International said “While the average price of a Zone 1 home is in seven figures, relatively affordable areas still exist on the fringes. Over the last couple of years it’s these parts of the capital that have increasingly been the focus of attention for many developers.”
The Greater London market still faces challenges, and from January 2016 to January 2017 average prices are up only 2.1% – the lowest rise in almost five years. Every borough has also seen a reduction in transactions for the three months to the end of January, compared to a year before, and London has seen the largest drop in transactions in the country (down 22%).
Anthony Codling, analyst at Jefferies Bank, has predicted Zone 1 prices will fall by 10 per cent on average this year, and that prices in Zone 2 will be flat: “Uncertainty likely to remain in my view until will know what London looks like once Article 50 has played out,” he told City AM. “If the financial services sector moves to mainland Europe, minus 10 per cent may be optimistic, if London retains its current importance and global city status, minus 10 per cent may be overly pessimistic.”
DMZ is seeing a decline of house prices since the Brexit vote in July 2016.
Making things even harder for the first time buyer, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the typical property now costs 7.6 times average annual earnings of employees in England and Wales. This is a record – and an unwelcome one at that, especially for first-time buyers already struggling to get onto the property ladder. The ONS says that in 2007, the typical buyer faced paying 7.2 times their earnings on a property, but this was surpassed in 2015 (7.4 times) and again in 2016 (7.6 times).
It continues to be a tough time as a potential buyer in the UK capital. DMZ is looking for the UK Government to make a swift decision on Brexit to ensure the uncertainty is removed and a clear direction to be set. The only glimmer of hope we can see is Tony Pidgley’s Berkeley Group. In a trading update today, the London-focused housebuilder said profits were on target to hit £3bn in by April 20121, with forward sales expected to top £2.6bn.
Today’s statement is a clear signal of the disconnect between the new build and second hand market. While London based estate agents are feeling the cold, Berkeley Group is warming itself in the Spring sunshine.