Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE IN LONDON HAS GONE UP [Pounds Sterling]18,000 IN A YEAR

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE IN LONDON HAS GONE UP [Pounds Sterling]18,000 IN A YEAR

Article excerpt

Byline: MIRA BAR-HILLEL

THE average price of a London property has increased by more than [pounds sterling]18,000 in the last year, new figures show.

During the first months of this year the typical property fetched more than [pounds sterling]306,000, up six per cent on the [pounds sterling]288,000 value in the same period last year.

The highest-priced homes in Kensington and Chelsea rose by more than 12 per cent, meaning the average property there now costs more than [pounds sterling]827,000.

Other boroughs where prices rose include Camden, Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hounslow, Lambeth and Sutton, where prices increased by at least 10 per cent year on year, according to the Land Registry figures.

But homeowners in other parts of London have suffered.

The average price of properties in Barnet, the City of London and Tower Hamlets did not change and average values in Greenwich, Harrow and Havering fell.

But the biggest losers were the residents of Merton, where the average house price slumped seven per cent from just over [pounds sterling]315,000 to less than [pounds sterling]295,000.

Experts attributed the strong rises in upmarket areas to hefty City bonuses over Christmas.

Mark Chick of estate agent Bective Leslie Marsh in Notting Hill said: "With the record bonuses this year and the lack of supply, the only way prices could go was up."

The figures show an increase in the number of properties sold for [pounds sterling]1million or more - from 521 in the last three months of last year to 652 in the first three months of this year.

Of those, 170 were in Kensington and Chelsea and 150 in Westminster.

There were 162 sales at more than [pounds sterling]2 million between January and March, compared with 104 between September and December last year - an increase of 56 per cent.

Ed Mead of agent Douglas & Gordon said: "People are now blase about property at around the million pound mark.

"The whole game has moved on and it would take a [pounds sterling]3 or [pounds sterling]4million freehold house to make people stop and think 'wow'."

James Pace of Farrar added: "There is simply no social cachet any more in having a house that is valued at just over a million pounds. We recently had between 25 to 30 on our books. They have been selling very fast."

Agents predict that London house prices will continue to rise during the rest of this year, with one, Haart, forecasting a seven per cent rise in the first six months alone.

Haart chief executive Paul Smith said: "The housing market was particularly buoyant over Easter.

Transaction levels are well above those of last year and we expect this to continue well into the summer.

"We expect prices to rise by further five per cent in the second half of this year. …

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