London housing outstrips country as prices rocket

LONDON house prices are rising nearly four times as fast as properties outside the south east of England, as the recent heat in the housing market concentrates on the capital.

The price of London property rose by 11.6 per cent in the 12 months to November 2013, while prices outside London and the south east increased by a much more moderate 3.1 per cent. The total rise for the UK was 5.4 per cent.

A typical house in the capital is heading towards twice the price of the average UK dwelling: an average home in London costs £441,000, against a £248,000 price tag for the country generally. In contrast, the typical house in the north east of England costs its buyer £148,000.

“Growth on this scale seemed almost impossible a year ago – but the last twelve months have proved the sceptics wrong,” commented John Bagshaw, corporate services director of Connells Survey and Valuation.

Connells say that they recorded a 35 per cent jump in property valuations during 2013, and that some months saw levels of activity similar to those recorded in 2007.

Bagshaw also suggested another buoyant year ahead for the market: “As economic progress picks up this year, salaries seem set to follow at some point. And when that happens, the housing market will really begin to tug at its moorings.”

Property website Zoopla also revealed a massive rise in market confidence among homeowners yesterday: 92 per cent of owners expect property prices to rise further before the summer.

London owners are most bullish, with 98 per cent projecting increases in the next half a year.

Zoopla’s Lawrence Hall concurred with the idea that the year ahead was likely to see a further boost to market activity: “Early indicators suggest that we can look forward to a busy first few months to 2014, as current levels of confidence are likely to fuel more transactions.”

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