London house prices at a ‘virtual standstill’

·2-min read
 (Adrian Lourie)
(Adrian Lourie)

London’s residential property prices have barely risen since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic last year. This is in sharp contrast to other parts of the UK that have experienced double-digit percentage increases.

According to the property portal Rightmove, London is at a virtual standstill, with prices increasing by just 0.2% since the spring of 2020.

Prices in Wales have soared by 13%, and it’s a similar story for both the north west of England and Yorkshire & Humber, with prices up 11.1% and 10.5% respectively.

Rightmove’s House Price Index calculates the average London house price at £640,373. Prices in London remain 2.9 times higher than prices in the north, but the ratio is now at its smallest since 2013.

Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, said: “So far 2021 is proving to be the year of the northern mover, not only satisfying their pent-up housing needs, but in doing so also narrowing some of the huge price gap with London.”

Becky Munday, managing director at London-based Munday’s Estate Agents, said: “In London, we’re seeing immediate knock-on effects of a working-from-home culture take hold, coupled with the vanishing act of most international buyers who have part supported and underpinned the capital’s economy.

“It has created genuine opportunity for domestic buyers to upsize or choose an area or home which suits their needs better, with local families affording the space they need rather than needing to leave the roots they’ve put down in London town,” she added.

Munday said that transactions remained buoyant in London with properties attracting multiple bids and selling in a few weeks.

According to Rightmove, in London the average time to secure a buyer was now around 57 days, a significant decrease from 72 days recorded at the start of 2021.