London house prices dipped again in October with 2.5 per cent knocked off asking prices in the capital compared to a year ago.
The average property price in Greater London is now £630,000 according to the Rightmove house price index.
The property website attributed the fall to reductions on the sale price of homes at the top end of the market, plus there are more properties on the market compared to 12 months ago.
“It will be harder for this autumn’s sellers to secure a sale because buyers have more choice, with a 4.5 per cent increase in new seller numbers compared to this time a year ago,” said Rightmove director Miles Shipside.
However, the research found that for certain types of homes, sellers with a sound pricing strategy may still be able to secure a sale in the 69 days before Christmas.
HOW TO SELL BY CHRISTMAS
The most in-demand homes right now are in the second-stepper and first-time buyer sectors, with the average time taken to find a buyer 63 and 64 days respectively. This is compared to 86 days for London’s most expensive homes.
“Whilst affordability is very stretched, it is still countered by the motivation to own a home rather than rent, or the need for extra space to house a growing family,” said Shipside.
“Sellers looking to find a buyer before Christmas have a head start if they are selling a property in these two more mass-market sectors, as that is where there is the greatest demand. However, with buyers’ spending power in the capital failing to keep pace with rises in property prices in recent years, and with a rise in interest rates being more heavily trailed by the Bank of England, sellers in these most popular sectors should still be wary of over-pricing.
“Buyers will be looking for the best buy on the market in their desired area either in terms of price or quality of finish.”
The best-performing boroughs were also among the most moderately priced in the capital with Bexley in south-east London (average price £380,000) and Redbridge in east London (average price £487,000) topping the table with 6.2 per cent asking price rises.
TROUBLE AT THE TOP
There was an 8.6 per cent annual decrease in asking prices for ‘top of the ladder homes’ – those with five bedrooms or more as well as four-bedroom detached houses.
Asking prices were lowered by 5.3 per cent on homes in inner London, with London’s most expensive borough, Kensington & Chelsea, also seeing the biggest price drop of 9.4 per cent to £2.1 million.
“The upper-end market is re-adjusting, with prices of newly-marketed properties in this sector down by 8.6 per cent compared to a year ago,” said Shipside.
“They have seen high gains over recent years however, so any feeling of bah-humbug should be put into that context.”