Property markets in England and Wales, including London, showing signs of picking up

There are signs of the property market picking up in England and Wales, and in parts of London, according to the latest real estate market analysis.

Average prices for July in England and Wales, excluding new build, reached £263,145, up 2.2% month on month, according to the report from London Central Portfolio (LCP), but annual growth was almost static at 0.8%, the weakest since 2011.

However, sales increased year on year by 2.2% to reach 807,478 due to a surge in quarterly sales, reversing the fall in 2018.

New build annual average prices rise 4.9% to £308,411, a 15.8% premium over existing stock and annual sales were up 12.6% to 98,922, rising to 12.6% of all sales.

In Greater London average prices in July, excluding new build, rose by 3.1% month on month to £644,746, the strongest monthly performance since 2014 while annual prices increased by 1.9%, outperforming 2018. The fall in annual transactions slowed to just 1.7%, to 85,701 and quarterly sales increased by 33.4%.

New build prices rose by 2.9% year on year to £720,448, a 17.4% premium over older stock.
However, new build transactions continue to plummet with an annual fall of 20.1% to 11,591.

‘Whilst these signs of recovery are good news for a market which has been languishing, greater political and economic certainty will, without doubt, reinforce this. At the moment, this appears to be in the balance. Developers will certainly be watching carefully, having faced a difficult year, with annual sales down over 20%,’ said Naomi Heaton, LCP chief executive officer.

Meanwhile, in the prime central London market average annual prices recorded a more modest growth of 1.5% to £1,909,015, but monthly and quarterly prices fell while sales also fell, down by 5% to 3,242, although this was the smallest decline since 2014.

New build average prices increased annually by 9.3% to £3,425,886 while sales fell by 52% from two years ago to just 417.

Heaton said that there are indications that the fall in transactions is bottoming out. ‘With a drop of just 5% over the year, this is the lowest fall since 2014. This has been buoyed by a surge in sales over the last quarter, reflecting the flurry of activity prior to the original Brexit deadline of March 29th,’ she pointed out.

‘An increase in activity normally presages price growth, although investors may hold back again to see if sterling weakens further, with the prospect of a no-deal Brexit,’ she added.