Londoners upbeat as the city again defies housing downturn

Ben Southwood
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LONDON bucked a national downward housing trend once again in August, according to a report released today by RICS.

The rosy figures appear to justify Londoners’ optimism, compared to the gloom in the rest of the country, which was recorded yesterday by a YouGov poll.

The net house price balance was -19 in August, up from -23 in July, but still well below the zero level which would imply negative and positive responses balanced out, and prices were standing still.

Though many sub-indices improved, most still indicated decline. New buyer inquiries fell more slowly, as did price expectations for the next quarter and year.

But the London market has performed consistently well, with an average net balance of 17 per cent of surveyors reporting price rises over the past three months.

According to YouGov, this robust London market is driving optimism in the capital, whereas weakness elsewhere is leading to pessimistic expectations.

Forty-four per cent of London homeowners polled believed their home was going to increase in value over the next 12 months, whereas just 23 per cent of homeowners outside the capital thought the same – by contrast 27 per cent thought their house would lose value.

“Londoners remain bullish on property,” said Mike Nardis at YouGov. “Its popularity remain[ing] in sharp contrast to the rest of Britain’s sluggish real estate market.”