London’s property market is like no other in the country. Simply put, the UK’s biggest city has so many different communities and pockets of localised market activity that there is nothing else quite like it. In fact, there is nothing to compare to the London property market anywhere in Europe! The good news for aspiring homeowners is that the London property market is now the most stable in the entire country. According to a recent report in the Evening Standard, property prices held steady across the capital in the last twelve months. The average home in London rose in value just 0.5 per cent in that time.
This relatively low growth rate in the capital might worry some homeowners but the truth is that it reflects wider issues. The property market in London has been affected by numerous factors in recent years. Brexit, the credit crunch and even the air quality of the capital’s streets have all played their part. Given that London remains the most expensive city to live in, it is hardly surprising that astronomical growth hasn’t continued in light of the pandemic. And yet, growth has continued even as many centrally located offices closed their doors. If anything, this shows just how resilient the London property market really is.
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The Return of First-Time Buyers?
Although the headline figure of under one per cent property growth might raise some Londoner’s eyebrows, it is not the whole story. Lower growth will inevitably make London more affordable to first-time buyers in the long run. This is a group that has traditionally been priced out of the market, of course. However, with the government’s various help-to-buy schemes aimed specifically at this group, things look set to change. You couldn’t say that if there had there been a growth rate of three or four per cent in the capital in the last year, of course. Nevertheless, there is something else at play, too.
Changing Living Habits
There are no two ways about it. The pandemic meant many Londoners changed their priorities. Rather than wanting to be as close to central London as possible, they now want more spacious accommodation in the suburbs. Of course, this isn’t true of everyone but it is a discernible trend. In May, the average London house price reached an all-time high. Why? Well, it isn’t because of the number of trades in trendy loft apartments on the South Bank. Rather, this figure is down to the demand for family homes in the leafier outskirts of the capital.
It seems that what people most want is more living space in a post-pandemic world. This, it turns out, is regardless of whether they’d prefer to work from home or head into the office. Okay, Kensington, Marylebone, Soho and Mayfair remain the parts of London that demand the highest property prices. However, the average London home now costing just shy of half a million is being driven elsewhere. These days, it is places like Tottenham and Willesden Green that are spearheading growth. What’s more, it is probable that there is more to come as the economy readjusts.