South of the Thames outperforming the North in London
South London’s housing market is outperforming the North in terms of sales volume and annual price growth, though the average price of a home in the south remains significantly more affordable, research by London lettings and estate agent Benham and Reeves.
The South is leading the way in terms of the average number of homes sold over the last year, averaging 3,003 sales per borough in the past 12 months.
With a total of 4,552 sales, Wandsworth is the most active market in the South, followed by Bromley (4,374) and Croydon (3,953). The fewest Southern sales have come in Kingston-upon-Thames (1,961).
Meanwhile, in the North, the average 12-month sales per borough comes in at 1,929.
Barnet is leading the way with 3,415 total sales, followed by Havering (3,017) and Tower Hamlets (2,894). The lowest number of sales north of the river have come from the City of London, where just 141 transactions occurred over the year.
Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves, said: “Depending on what side of the river you live on, you will have fierce opinions on which is best – north or south?
“But while the north enjoyed many years widely considered the most desirable, trendy, and culturally significant part of town, the south has also come into its own in recent years, thanks to the emergence of hipster hotspots such as Peckham.
“Of course, like the wider UK market, London is fragmented. While some boroughs struggle to maintain prices and demand, their neighbouring boroughs can soar.
“So while we may have seen higher demand to the south in terms of buyer appetites, many areas of the north remain extremely popular. Barnet is leading the way in this respect, largely driven by the huge investment and growth seen in Colindale, which has enticed a great number of buyers of late.”
Despite this strong performance from the South, North London remains the more expensive side of the Thames.
The average house price in the North is £594,634 compared to £519,289 in the South.
The North’s most expensive boroughs are Kensington & Chelsea (£1.3m), the City of Westminster (£968,017), and City of London (£960,868).
The most affordable are Barking & Dagenham (£344,518) and Newham (£417,402).
In the South, the most expensive boroughs are Richmond-upon-Thames (£760,775), Wandsworth (£639,194), and Merton (£584,378), while the most affordable are Bexley (£399,578) and Croydon (£425,364).
But the North’s house price dominance over the South might not last forever because, during this slower, cooling housing market that we’ve seen in the past year, price growth has been much stronger in the South.
Across Southern boroughs, the average annual price growth is 5%, with Greenwich (9.2%) and Kingston-upon-Thames (9.1%) leading the charge and none of the boroughs recording negative growth.
In the North, average growth is just 3.3%, led by the City of London (13.4%) and Tower Hamlets (11%), while five Northern boroughs have seen prices fall, including the City of Westminster (-8.8%), Kensington & Chelsea (-5.2%), and Camden (-2.2%).