Response to the latest figures from the ONS
Mon 19 May 2014
Peter Rollings, CEO at Marsh & Parsons, comments: "The London property market continues to outshine the rest of the country, with house prices in the capital rising 17% in the year to March 2014. This growth is being sustained by unwavering demand among UK and international buyers alike, for whom Prime London property is practically a global reserve currency, offering unbeatable capital investment. The worldwide appeal and desirability of London as a city makes this a unique component part of the market, and it does not speak for the UK as a whole. If you exclude London from the equation, average UK house prices have risen an orderly 4.7% in the last 12 months, and growth is still just awakening in many parts of the country.
"The housing market is just that a market, and by definition will self-regulate in time. We have seen a remarkably busy opening few months of the year, but price rises are steadying now thanks to a resurgence of supply and the recent Mortgage Market Review tightening affordability criteria. The first signs of cooling are evident this morning, with average UK house prices down 0.5% from February to March 2014. Excellent capital growth is encouraging sellers and accidental landlords to cash in by put their properties up for sale and outside of London, Help to Buy is freeing up the market at the lower end inside London, Help to Buy is virtually non existent. This is going some way to redress the imbalance of supply and demand, and we have seen the ratio of buyers per available property fall from 24 buyers per property in January to around 18 at the end of April. However, there are still around 50% fewer properties available than in 2007, so there is still plenty more slack to be taken up."