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Contact Fulham Property Market Fourth Quarter 2015

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Fulham Property Market Fourth Quarter 2015

Fulham Property Market Slows to a Halt in Winter with no sales at top of market and prices remaining static

Fulham’s property market appeared to grind to a halt during the final quarter of 2015, particularly at the top end of the market, with no multi-million pound detached or semi-detached homes changing hands during the period.

The average prices of both both terraced houses and flats and maisonettes showed a small rise between October and December, reversing the fall in the previous quarter. The average value of a terraced house in Fulham rose by a slim 1.7% from 1,713,408 to 1,742,138 with houses in three postcode areas, SW6 1, 3 and 4 rising above the two million mark. It was a similar story with flats and maisonettes, which saw a rise of just 1.2%, taking the average from 803,962 to 813,530. The overall average was also up by 2.8% from 1,093,700 to 1,124,412.

The big story however was the fall in the volume of sales, down overall from 307 to 230. Even in this traditionally quiet period before Christmas, this is a precipitous fall of 25.1%. Fulham’s two most expensive properties meanwhile, a six bedroom penthouse at upmarket development Chelsea Creek priced 16,950,00 and the iconic Aragon House in Parson’s Green, priced 11,000,000 remain unsold after being on the market for many months.

Peter Rollings, CEO of agents Marsh & Parsons, acknowledges this slowdown and says it is partly due to the higher cost of moving. ” Compared to a year ago, million pound property sales have slipped back 2% in the capital since stamp duty reform levied higher taxes at the middle and top-end of the property market,” he says. “Both buyers and sellers at that level are having to be more price sensitive, and adjust their expectations.”

“It remains to be seen how the second wave of stamp duty change targeted at buy-to-let investors may similarly distort the London market but in the short-term, well see a rush of demand from landlords and second home purchasers in the run up to April, which means heightened competition for first-time buyers.”

While prices in Fulham remained static in 2015, increasing by just 1.1%, it was a different story across London, with property prices rising by 12.4% in 2015 according to the Land Registry, bringing the average price of a home in the capital up to 514,097. This was the highest rate of increase in the country.

The average property value in England and Wales was up by 6.4% 188,270. Monthly house prices rose by 1.2% since November 2015.

Sales and repossessions during October 2015, the most up-to-date figures available, show that the number of repossessions in London fell by 71%.

However, the London housing market has seen a fall in newly agreed sales for a third month in a row according to the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey. Despite an increase in demand across the capital 2% more surveyors have seen a fall in newly agreed sales over the last month, adding to the picture from October and November.

Their report for December 2015 has shown that demand for new properties has reached a three-month high, with Chartered Surveyors citing a rush to beat Aprils stamp duty rise as the reason.
From April, buy-to-let investors will be required to pay 3% more in stamp duty charges than residential buyers looking to purchase the same home. Since the Chancellor announced these measures in the Autumn Statement last November, 10% more Chartered Surveyors in London reported a rise in new buyer enquiries but with new instructions flat prices are continuing to rise – average sales per surveyor are at just half of what they were in June 2014.

RICS Chief Economist, Simon Rubinsohn said: ” The housing market has experienced an unusually buoyant December. Those in the industry have been speculating that this is the result of the Chancellors announcement last November. Potential buy-to-let investors are looking to pick up properties before the increased stamp duty levy comes into force in April. If that is the case, then we can expect to see the housing market heating up further over the next few months.

The survey also predicted that house prices in London look set to rise by a further 5% per annum in each of the next five years, compared to a UK average of 4.5%, with 57% of contributors in the capital believing that property was either expensive or very expensive.

A net balance of 25% of respondents reported that London house prices had risen since November, substantially lower than the national average of 50%, however price expectations remained strong with a 30% more London surveyors predicting a rise rather than fall in prices over the coming three months.

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