Regional price rises could eclipse London
Strutt & Parker claim house prices across the UK will rise by 7.5% in 2014, compared to 6.5% in Prime Central London.
The national estate agent also expects price rises across the country of 5.5% in 2015, overtaking those in London predicted at just 2.0% as political uncertainty emerges.
These forecasts are a stark contrast to 2010 and 2011 when PCL prices surged by over 13% year-on-year.
The median house price in the South East has risen sharply to £240,000 over the past year, an increase of 6.7%.
Increases were also seen in the East (5.0%), the North West and Yorkshire and The Humber (both 4.0%), the South West (3.8%) and the West Midlands (3.5%). The only place in the country not to see any growth was Wales.
Stephanie McMahon, head of research, said: “The median house price for England and Wales has seen a 4.2% increase to £186,000 compared to Q1 2013 and in Greater London the median price has increased by 15% compared to Q1 2013 and is now at £345,000.”
Scotland has seen the strongest increases in volume and values compared to the three year average – with the median house price up by 3.1% since Q4 2012 at £159,670.
Whilst the looming referendum has perhaps slowed the £1m plus market, the £250,000 – £850,000 market has seen a return of consumer confidence and while the interest rates remain low, buyers are taking advantage where they can.
The report also highlights some behavioural changes in the UK housing market. Whilst the majority of buyers in the country purchase property for their primary home, Strutt & Parker has seen a recent increase in people outside London buying for investment purposes, rather than secondary homes.
The difference between the PCL market and the rest of the UK is also apparent. In PCL nearly 46% of buyers come from somewhere outside the UK, however, that figure declines to almost 6% for Strutt & Parker’s offices outside London.
Finance is the top job sector for sellers – with nearly 67% of buyers in PCL working in London and less than 4% working from home.
More remarkably, when looking at our country buyers, nearly 26% work in London, with almost 10% working from home. The property type of choice also varies greatly – in London, 53% of buyers want a flat and in the country, 89% of buyers want a house.
Michael Fiddes, partner and head of Regional Residential Agency, said: “In the first quarter of 2014, for the first time in a number of years, we have seen an outward flow from London into the South East and further afield.
“Such activity has been reflected in the relative increases in value, and perhaps a recognition that the disparity between London and the regions has peaked.”