|'Interesting Times' For Putney Property|
Activity in mid-priced family homes falls to levels seen during financial crisis
A leading Putney estate agent has described the current state of the local property market as 'interesting times' as the latest official data shows a decidedly mixed picture.
Numbers from the Land Registry for the first quarter of 2019 indicate that the average sale price in the SW15 postcode area was £735,135 down by 7.8% from the previous three months. Over the last year prices are down by 1.6% and volumes remain at very low levels.
The most striking feature of the new data is the collapse in the number of sales of mid-priced houses. The number of terraced properties reported as being sold in the area is the lowest since the financial crisis a decade ago. Just 16 sales were registered, and although this number may increase as late reported sales are added, the levels are so low that it is thought a significant proportion may be probate sales.
Larger houses are continuing to see demand hold up relatively well. In March a five bedroom semi on the Upper Richmond sold for £2,950,000 having changed hands in July 2010 for £2,550,000. Meanwhile in February a four bedroom house on Roehampton Gate, went for £2,850,000. It has previously been sold in 2012 for £2,710,000 but this time the property was sold with planning permission for a 10,500 sq ft home.
Demand for flats seems to have stablilised but all the transactions recorded in the first three months of the year being in the secondary market
Local estate agent Allan Fuller responded to these figures, "As Confucius might have said if he was an estate agent in Putney now, 'we live in interesting times'. We did get used to property values rising inexorably, the last couple of years have proved that does not always happen. The reason this time is the increase in stamp duty as well as worries about Brexit. But in many respects property had reached somewhat of a peak and in reality property can only sell if is affordable.
Earlier this year, Guy Gittins, Managing Director of Chestertons, said that the imbalance between supply and demand has helped slow the rate that house prices in London have been falling. In Property Industry Eye he said,"Following two years of substantial price drops, the market is now bottoming out in London..... This dramatic imbalance between supply and demand is starting to fuel small price increases in areas like Hyde Park and Putney as competition ramps up – and we’re even seeing instances of buyers attempting to ‘gazump’ others by offering to pay over asking price. The signs of recovery are there, with the prime market leading the way".
Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said, “UK house price growth remained subdued in March, with prices just 0.7% higher than the same month last year.
“Indicators of housing market activity, such as the number of property transactions and the number of mortgages approved for house purchase, have remained broadly stable in recent months, even though survey data suggests that sentiment has softened.
“Measures of consumer confidence weakened around the turn of the year and surveyors report that new buyer enquiries have continued to decline, falling to their lowest level since 2008 in February.”
The March 2019 RICS UK Residential Survey results show little departure from the subdued picture evident across the sales market for several months now. They say forward looking indicators suggest this lack of momentum is likely to continue for a while longer, although perceptions on the twelve month outlook are a little more sanguine. However London and the South East continue to display the weakest sentiment in terms of prices.
Copyright notice: All figures in this article are based on data released by the Land Registry. The numbers are derived from analysis performed by PutneySW15.com. Any use of these numbers should jointly attribute the Land Registry and PutneySW15.com.
May 10, 2019