Is now the time to buy in London?

publication date: Aug 4, 2014
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
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Is now the time to buy in London?

London prices do appear to have peaked year on year, with property price growth easing back from +18.5% to +16.4%. I'm also seeing a better quality of property at a better price coming onto the market than I saw over the last few months.

Of course, the year on year growth we've been seeing will naturally subside as going forward, we will be comparing a rising market in 2014 to a rising market in 2013. Whereas at the start of the year we were comparing a rising market to a flat one.

To find our what's happening in a particular London borough, take a look at the full London analysis:-


London boroughs potentially overheating

Waltham Forest and Lambeth

Currently, Waltham Forest and Lambeth are facing mind-blowing year on year growth of 28% and 27% respectively. This indicates that these areas are overheating and buyers need to be very cautious not to pay over the odds for a property.   

Hackney and Southwark
The annual average growth for Southwark and Hackney is 26% and 23% respectively, which show that these areas are also potentially overheating. However, in Hackney, the monthly growth is still showing signs of slowing from the end of 2013 and early 2014.

Haringey, Wandsworth, Hammersmith & Fulham and Lewisham
All of these areas are performing brilliantly, with year on year growth standing between 21% and 22%, but we've seen no evidence to date of this kind of growth being a 'bubble'.

Rather than house price rises automatically being a 'bubble', we've seen them rise rapidly due to pent up demand, which now seems to be subsiding, hence rather than prices crashing down, we are just likely to see house price growth slowing.

Thinking of buying in London? Read my articles:-

Areas in London with the highest price rises since 2007/8

The following areas have not only recovered to their 2007/8 heights, but have had major growth:-

  • City of Westminster +55% versus height of the market
  • Kensington and Chelsea +56% 
  • Hammersmith and Fulham +48%
  • Hackney +49% 

Are there any affordable areas left in London?
Like many of areas across the country, there are some boroughs in the capital that haven't benefitted from double digit growth and have either not yet recovered to their 2007/08 height and are still less than they were SIX years ago or have only just recently exceeded this level. These areas are:- 

  • Barking and Dagenham - up 13% year on year, but prices remain -3% below 2007/8 height
  • Newham - up 16% year on year, but prices only 1% up on 2007/8 level
  • Bexley - up 11% year on year, with prices just 2% above 2007/08 height of the market
  • Havering - up 12% year on year, with prices only 3% above the market high
  • Redbridge - up 8% year on year, but prices are also only 3% up on 2007/08 height

If you are finding it tough to buy a property in your preferred location in London, it's always worth scouting near by areas or those that are up and coming, to see if they are closer to your budget. Take a peak at how all the Boroughs are performing:-

Download the full London borough analysis

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All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner, author of Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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