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London house price growth lowest in country since start of pandemic as commuter hotspots soar

 (Daniel Lynch)
(Daniel Lynch)

London has seen the lowest growth in house prices of anywhere in the country since 2019, while they have skyrocketed elsewhere.

New data from Rightmove shows that the average asking price for a home in London has risen by 11 per cent since 2019, compared to a 20 per cent rise nationally.

Over the past three years, Wales has seen the biggest growth, with house prices rising by 27 per cent.

In London, where the average property currently costs £666,507, this represents an increase of £73,316. In Wales, it constitutes a rise of £67,050 on the average property (£248,332).

Those who swapped cities for the coast or countryside during the pandemic have fuelled some of the hike in prices, with those who acted early feeling the full benefit of the increasing value of their homes.

“Property prices have risen exceptionally over the last three years,” says Rightmove’s Tim Bannister. “If we compare with December 2019, just before the pandemic started, the average asking price of a home in Great Britain has risen by a staggering 20 per cent.

“To put that into context, asking prices rose just three per cent in the previous three years, and we need to go all the way back to 2013 to see similar price growth.”

A property on Chandos Avenue, Whetstone, currently on sale with Hamptons for £2,500,000 (Rightmove)
A property on Chandos Avenue, Whetstone, currently on sale with Hamptons for £2,500,000 (Rightmove)

In the last year, average house prices in the UK have risen by 5.6 per cent alone, with Eastwood in Nottinghamshire being the year’s price hotspot. The former coal mining town saw the average home rise from £179,194 to £231,381 – an increase of 29 per cent.

The top five price hotspots in London this year are Whetstone, Bromley, East Finchley, Rainham and Biggin Hill — all within outer London boroughs.

In Whetstone, house prices have risen by 14.9 per cent in the last year, from £847,742 to £974,309.

Bromley has seen a 13 per cent increase, bringing the average asking price up to £627,089. House prices in East Finchley, Rainham and Biggin Hill have all risen by more than 10 per cent.

London does not feature once in Rightmove’s list of the top 10 price hotspots, although areas in the South East —including St. Peters and Birchington in Kent and Heathfield, East Sussex— make up half of the list. Close to London, these are all popular destinations for commuters.

House price predictions for 2023

With the “frenetic period” for the housing market over, however, growth is slowing down. Rightmove anticipate that asking prices will drop by two per cent on average in 2023.

Hyper-local differences in house prices are likely to become more pronounced, with factors like the type of property and desirability of the street having greater influence on cost.

With mortgages becoming more expensive and the increased cost of living tightening purse strings, buyer affordability will become more stretched in the coming year. Sellers, on the other hand, may benefit from their gains during the pandemic, or by offering less on their next home purchase.

Bannister says: “It is likely that some sellers, particularly those in locations and sectors of the market that have benefitted the most from pandemic price growth, may be willing to give up some of their gains in this calmer market in order to negotiate a successful sale.”