Foreign investors seeking a safe haven for their money helped house prices in London increase and buck the national trend, a report has found.
The average value of a house in Greater London increased by 3.1 per cent in November compared to the same month last year, according to LSL/Acadametrics House Price Index. London is the only region in England and Wales to experience an increase in house prices over the last year, with the average home in the capital now costing £390,619.
Property prices across England and Wales remained relatively static in November, with the cost of the average house falling by just £7 to £220,043 in the 12 months to November when compared to October’s measurement. Nationwide, the average house price has fallen by 0.7 per cent over the year.
LSL Property Services commercial director David Brown said: “The resilience of property prices indicates that mortgage lenders and property buyers have not so far been spooked by the gloomy news emerging from the eurozone.
Although prices have declined by 0.7 per cent since November 2010, the rate of annual price decreases slowed everywhere except the North West and the East Midlands, with London – buoyed by foreign investors seeking a safe haven in the capital’s bricks and mortar – showing an acceleration in price rises to 3.1 per cent last month.”
Demand for property in the highest priced areas of the capital remains strong, the report found. The three London boroughs with the largest growth are also among the top five in terms of price. House prices went up the most in the City of Westminster (12.6 per cent), Kensington and Chelsea (8.5 per cent) and Richmond upon Thames (6.2 per cent).
The five boroughs with the lowest price growth are all in outer London, the report noted. Barnet experienced the biggest dip in property prices over the last 12 months, falling by 7.1 per cent, while prices in Havering were down 5.3 per cent.
The average cost of homes in the boroughs of Kingston upon Thames and Barking and Dagenham dipped by 2.4 per cent, and property prices fell by 2.2 per cent in Enfield.
The number of properties sold in London between August and October increased by 4.5 per cent compared to the same three-month period last year, the report said. Property transactions in the City of London went up by 35 per cent, while Hackney (23 per cent) and Greenwich (20 per cent) also experienced a spike in the sale of houses.