Hopes that some quick sales of Brick by Brick’s long-overdue and hugely overpriced homes might help to ease Croydon Council’s financial woes took a knock yesterday with publication of a report that showed that London’s “gravity-defying” house price rises had suffered a rare set-back.
The London property market suffered its biggest monthly fall in a decade in April.
The housing market in London and the south-east had proved itself to be remarkably resilient, even to the worst impact of the global economic downturn in 2008 and even shrugging off Brexit fears. London estate agents and property developers – with the exception of council-owned loss-making Brick by Brick – had even been in the money in a mini-boom last year that followed the end of the first pandemic lockdown.
The average price of a London home in March 2021 even touched half a million pounds for the first time, but in April that estimate fell by 2.01 per cent, to £491,687, wiping around £10,000 off its value.
The annual rate of increase is now 3.3 per cent, down from an overheated 5.7 per cent in November 2020.
Taken as a whole, London house prices remain around double the level of prices for the UK.
According to sales data compiled by the online property website Rightmove, the average house price in Croydon reached £420,256 in 2020, with Croydon semis fetching an average £515,012. Flats sold for an average of £307,111.
Sold prices in Croydon were 8 per cent up in 2020 compared to 2019.
The consistently rising central London house prices appear to have hit a bit of a covid-induced bump, with what worried estate agents have called the “race for space”, as city-dwellers swap their executive apartments for homes in the country with outdoor space and room to create a “work from home” study.
The Evening Standard yesterday reported that further slowdowns are expected as the stamp duty holiday ends on June 30 and 3 million workers come off the furlough scheme in the autumn.
One agency chief described the market shift as buyers becoming more “realistic rather than romantic” in what they’re willing to pay. And the supply of properties on the market is also increasing, as more people are putting their homes up for sale.
“This reality check has blown some of the froth off the market,” Jonathan Hopper, chief executive of buying agency of Garrington Property Finders, told the Standard.
“The gravity-defying price rises are starting to ease.”
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