31st May 2013
House prices in the heart of London have rocketed in the past year taking the average home cost to almost £1.4m writes Philip Scott.
According to the latest figures from HM Land Registry, house prices in the prime areas of the capital jumped 13% over the year to end of April to reach a new high of £1,379,142 – six times higher than England and Wales.
The performance has been boosted by a number of high value transactions being registered and a particularly strong performance above £2m.
Five sales above £10m were registered with the most expensive sale taking place in Bolney Gate, in the City of Westminster, a terraced house which sold for over £18m. Transactions overall in the area have increased 60% with 88 purchases taking place this month, compared with 56 in April 2012.
The cheapest sale across England and Wales, took place in a terraced house, in Egremont, Cumbria for £7,000.
The average price in the country has reached £234,957, showing a fractional growth since March. However, versus this time last year prices are 5% higher.
Naomi Heaton, CEO of London Central Portfolio says: “The stimulus of the low cost of sterling, cheap debt and the Capital’s enduring appeal has fuelled a further influx of international investors. This has led to increased transactions at the top end of the market which is contributing to the upward rise in average prices.”
April’s data also brings good news for the Government as transactions in England and Wales shot up by 12% in just one month, a potential indication that their stimulus schemes have begun to take effect.
The most notable increase in sales in England and Wales has been in the £200,000 and £250,000 price band where transactions jumped by 15%. Average prices are now approaching the £250,000 mark, where stamp duty rises from 1% to 3%, a rise in tax from £2,500 to £7,500.
“When the tax was first introduced it was never intended to be a tax on the ‘every-man’ but now it is seriously impacting on the average home buyer. Since 1997, when stamp duty was increased to 3% for properties over £250,000, average prices have increased by over 3 times. However, the threshold has never been revised upwards. It is time the Chancellor took action to enable people to trade up opening up the market for first time buyers, rather than continuing to line the Exchequers pockets,” adds Heaton.