Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

How to Make Property Fortune: Move Every Year for 20 Years

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

How to Make Property Fortune: Move Every Year for 20 Years

Article excerpt

Byline: Jonathan Prynn Consumer Business Editor

IT IS a dilemma familiar to homeowners thinking about a move. Should they wait in the hope the property market rises, or sell now before it crashes? Now an analysis shows how Londoners armed with a crystal ball could have maximised their profits by selling up and buying again -- every single year.

By shrewdly purchasing in the capital's hottest local market each year since 1995 they would have turned an initial PS50,000 into almost PS1.2 million, even after taxes and the cost of moving. The exhausting property odyssey would have started with a PS50,000 flat in Lambeth Walk and ended with a PS1.182 million house in north London's up-and-coming Turnpike Lane.

The first year in Lambeth Walk would have seen the initial PS50,000 rise to PS59,207 after costs, as local prices soared 24 per cent in a year, faster than anywhere else in London. The owner would then have moved to Hoxton, the first "hipster hangout" to gentrify.

After banking a 34 per cent profit, the trail leads south to newly yuppified Tulse Hill, then east as once run-down areas like East Ham and Woolwich topped the property league as the house price boom gathered pace.

By 2008-- the only year when prices fell in every area of London following the banking crash -- the initial PS50,000 would have been worth over PS500,000. Exclusive central London areas recovered first as foreign buyers took advantage of post-slump bargains, and the purchaser would have sojourned in Fulham, Belsize Park and Belgravia, breaking the PS1 million barrier.

In the last couple of years there would have been 12 months in Walthamstow, and a final move to Turnpike Lane. Tom Bill of Knight Frank estate agency, which compiled the figures from Land Registry data, said: "Most of the strongest growth's been outside prime central London apart from the middle of the financial crisis. Then there is a ripple effect as the recovery strengthens, with strong growth in Zones 2 and 3. …

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