Asking prices in London nudged down 0.4 per cent (£2,591) in November as the Christmas property lull comes early.
December is traditionally the quietest month for home sales and sellers desperate to bag an offer before Christmas are marketing their homes at a lower price, this month’s Rightmove index shows.
The marginal fall which takes the average asking price in the capital to £647,817 mirrors the same pattern across the country.
Nationally price tags, on average, slipped £0.6 per cent (£2,044) – the largest monthly fall since last January when they fell 0.9 per cent.
Experts claim this could be the market cooling off in the run-up to Christmas before the traditional Boxing Day boom as people begin looking for a new home.
“Despite the soaring property market and consequent shortage of choice for prospective buyers, new sellers have given buyers an early Christmas present by dropping their average asking prices by 0.6 per cent.
“Sellers who come to market this close to Christmas often have a pressing reason to sell so price more attractively,” says Rightmove’s Tim Bannister.
Where asking prices are rising in London
The November Rightmove Asking Prices Index reveals a fragmented pricing picture in London with the biggest rises in the outer boroughs, where property is considered more affordable, and the most exclusive pockets of central London, where the average asking price is well above the one million pound ceiling.
The highest annual asking price rise was in Bromley in the 12 months to November with a jump of 6.5 per cent, taking the average price tag to £595,819.
Merton (5.8 per cent to £686,169), Barking and Dagenham (5.4 per cent to £350,102), Bexley and Havering complete the top five boroughs where asking prices rose most year on year.
However, as international buyers and students returned to the luxurious core of the capital following the Covid-19-triggered exodus , the annual asking price rose 4.5 per cent in Kensington and Chelsea (putting it 8th in the ranking) and four per cent in Westminster (which was in 9th place.) This movement took advertised values to £1,585,005 and £1,444,014 respectively.
“As travel has started to open up this year we are starting to see more transactions in Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster. The market is property specific however with buyers mainly looking for houses or flats with access to communal gardens or outdoor entertaining space,” said Chris Sellwood, director at Rokstone.
“Flats with no outside space or in portered blocks are sticking. But, if a property ticks all the boxes we are seeing multiple offers,” he added.
New data from LonRes shows that prices paid for homes in the centre of London rose 4.6 per cent in the three months from August to October and a 10 per cent increase in the number of sales of homes worth more than £5 million.
Where in London can you bag a “bargain”?
There are eight boroughs in the capital where asking prices have fallen in the year to November.
The biggest fall was 4.4 per cent in Islington taking the average marketed value to £734,152, followed by Southwark (-4.1 per cent to £615,670) and Haringey (-3.1 per cent to £639,703).
Asking prices also fell in Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Camden, Hackney and Lewisham – where prices tags slipped a negligible 0.1 per cent.
After a year of house price rises, there are “bargains” to be had in the next month as buyers get distracted by festivities and pause their search, reducing competition for each home, claims Richard Palfreeman of Northfields Estate Agents, in Ealing.