House prices in London satellite towns expected to climb in 2013

City A.M. Reporter
HOUSE prices in commuter towns on the outskirts of London jumped in the final three months of the year, high end estate agent Savills said yesterday.

Prices in the so-called “inner commute” area were up 0.5 per cent from October to December, compared to the previous quarter.

Residential properties in these areas remained slightly down compared to a year earlier, the data said, and 4.8 per cent down on their peak.

Yet Savills expects prices to climb during 2013.

“Price growth has focused in commuter hotspots such as Sevenoaks and Guildford and Chelmsford as buyers continue to favour urban locations,” the firm’s report said.

“The inner commuter zones and prime suburbs closer to London are forecast to be the only prime markets to see house price growth this year, with a rise of one per cent expected.”

Prime locations inside London itself, however, are expected to flatline.

“The value gap between London and prime commuter locations seems to have peaked,” says Lucian Cook, director of residential research at Savills.

“We expect this to trigger a long-awaited ripple out of London.”

Outside the capital, prices in urban neighbourhoods are holding up more than in nearby rural areas, Savills said.

Its figures show prices in southern England countryside villages are down 14.8 compared to their peak – having dropped 1.7 per cent last year – while those in southern towns and cities are a less severe 10.8 per cent below peak – having dropped only 0.3 per cent last year.