PRIME central (PC) and prime south west (PSW) London continue to be polar opposites; buyers are not paying asking prices in PC but are driving prices up in PSW. With stock levels down 35 per cent on last year, it’s telling that purchases in PC often follow a price reduction; this is now a common sight. Meanwhile, price rises in PSW are now similar to those seen in PC 18 months ago, with eager buyers seemingly prepared to pay whatever the asking price.
The announcement of Help to Buy rates below five per cent are encouragingly competitive as well as being fee free in some cases, and are likely to drive PSW prices even higher, as the £600,000 limit buys plenty there. However, the mortgage process needs speeding up to avoid the heartache it causes for those anxiously waiting for their offers, worrying that they’re about to be gazumped.