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London house prices: home sellers in the capital made average £198k profit in 2021

·3-min read
 (Matt Writtle)
(Matt Writtle)

Londoners who sold their homes in 2021 made an average £197,730 gross profit, the highest figure of any region in England and Wales, according to new figures released today.

However, it was the first time since 2015, when Hamptons started collecting the data, that sellers in the capital made less than £200,000 as a result of slowing house price growth.

Nonetheless, 91 per cent of Londoners made a profit on their home in 2021, in part thanks to the fact that sellers had owned their homes for the longest of any region, 9.1 years, meaning homes had more time to increase in value.

Sellers in London’s cheapest borough Barking and Dagenham sold their homes for an average of 76 per cent more than they paid for them, the highest percentage gain of anywhere in the country.

Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons, said: “House price gains last year may have been close to their peak. 2021’s average seller bought in 2012, since when house prices across England and Wales have risen by 55 per cent.

“However, 2022-2024 sellers are likely to have bought more recently, during a period of weaker price growth. We’ve already seen this in London, where seller gains have been falling since 2016.”

Where home sellers made the most money

Waltham Forest in east London (72%), Merthyr Tydfil in Wales (71%) and the outer east London borough of Havering (66%) were the next highest.

A total of 12 of the best-performers for percentage price gains were in the capital.

Nationally, the average seller sold their home for £95,360 more than they paid for it, up from £83,550 in 2020 and a record number of sellers made a profit on their home.

The East of England and the East Midlands saw the highest number of people who sold their homes for more than they paid for them (95 per cent). Property in the North East of England performed least well in 2021, with just 78 per cent of sellers making a profit. It was also the region with the lowest average seller gain of £29,000, or 25 per cent more than the purchase price.

Houses up, flats down

The gains were not shared equally amongst all property types.

Reflecting pandemic lifestyle changes, detached houses – more common in outer than inner London and in rural areas – made the biggest gains (£152,000, or 53 per cent), up from £122,300 pre-pandemic. Meanwhile flat owners made a gross gain of £54,700, or 29 per cent and one in five made a loss on their property.

Ms Beveridge said: “Soaring house price growth over the last 18 months has driven up the amount of money homeowners have made...

“House price gains are primarily driven by two factors – the length of time people have owned their home and the point at which they bought in the housing cycle.

“Typically, homeowners who have owned their properties for longer have seen more price growth and therefore made bigger profits.”