London house prices slide as gloom sets in

Ben Southwood
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GREATER London saw its first house price fall in a year in November, new data has revealed this morning.

This came as forecasts, also published today, saw the UK housing market taking another two years to recover to its pre-crisis peak, before staying stuck in the so-called new normal of weaker house price growth for a decade.

House prices fell 0.2 per cent across Greater London in November, Hometrack said, faster than the 0.1 per cent national fall. And the housing dynamo of central London was behind this decline, the property analytics firm showed. “The driver of price falls emanated from central London where they slipped 1.2 per cent over November,” said Hometrack research director Richard Donnell, who blamed rising supply, stamp duty hikes, and the fear of even more taxes and charges coming in.

And the housing market could be relatively gloomy for years, according to a report from Legal & General and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). It will take until the first quarter of 2015 before prices are where they were at the peak of the pre-recession boom, they say. And even after the market has fully recovered, it will be stuck in a new normal situation of slower growth for 10 years from 2017.

This will see house price growth of only 4.1 per cent per year, on average, the report says, well below the 11.4 per cent prices grew on average between 1997 and 2007.