Headline numbers mask price downturn for Chiswick property
Prices up by 22.2% over a year according
to new data but numbers distorted by September 11th aftermath
Chiswick property now costs £383,029
prices up 22.3% in the year to Dec 2002 (Land Registry)
prices down 6.3% in the latest quarter (Land Registry)
end and flat prices weak - terraced houses still rising
in Chiswick down 27% (hometrack)
released this week have shown a massive jump in Chiswick property
prices over the last year but point to a more recent downturn. Prices
in W4 to the end of 2002 are up by 22.2% over the same period last
year but slumped by 6.3% over the quarter according to Land Registry
property expert Chris Deering cautioned against reading too much
into these figures, "The base for this numbers is when the
market was hard hit by the aftermath of the September 11th atrocities.
You can smooth out this effect by looking over a 15 month period
which shows Chiswick property prices rising by only 3.2%.
At the same time Chris doesn't believe that the market is going
into freefall. He commented, "The 6.3% fall is on the back
of a very strong rise in the previous quarter and some sections
of the market are showing strength with terraced houses continuing
to move steadily forward." The average terraced house
in Chiswick has risen in value by over 28.9% over
the twelve months to the end of last year.
His analysis points to two major areas of weakness in the market.
The top end continues to be fairly moribund with very few transactions
in the +£1million category. There has also been a significant
fall out in the flat sector which boomed about six months ago. Chris
says, "Last spring there was something of a flat buying frenzy
and prices rose precipitously. The average flat price rose to 64%
of the average terraced house. Since that time terraced house prices
have continued to rise but flats have fallen and now the relationship
is back to a more normal 51% probably because of the large amount
of new supply in that sector."
When asked about his outlook for the market Chris said, "The
most notable thing about these figures is the volume numbers. They
are much the same as this time last year which was a period of even
greater uncertainty. It is getting a bit tougher for agents. The
amount of bumpf coming through my door is rising which reflects
increasing desperation. The top end of the market will remain dead
as the FTSE100 flounders and terraced properties are now simply
too expensive. Looking at current yields they are very vulnerable
to a rise in interest rates."
Bramwell of, newly opened in Chiswick FPDSavills,
admitted that the picture was unclear, "In recent years at
the start of the new year we have been able to forecast on market
prospects for the first quarter with a certain accuracy and confidence.
This year, however, there is a great deal of uncertainty, not just
about the forecast for the housing market but with regards to the
national and world economic outlook." He added that the pool
of buyers was now smaller and that they would be looking for value.
At the top end of the market, in which FPD Savills specialise, he
said that prices had fallen but even if predicted falls were to
materialise they would not outweigh the gains seen in recent years.
is not much optimism that the recent reduction in interest rates
will get prices rising again. In fact many banks and building societies
will be slow to cut their mortgage rates. To avoid this local financial
adviser Stephen Rodgers of Berkeley
Consultants is suggesting looking at tracker mortgages
which respond instantly to changes in the Bank of England rates.
For those considering locking in current low rates he says deals
are available at below 4% for 2 year fixed rates and 5 year fixed
below 5 %
Registry Numbers for Sep 2002 - Dec 2002
volumes were confirmed by other data from property research company
hometrack which showed that sales in Chiswick during January fell
by 27% whilst prices remained flat. John Wrigglesworth of hometrack
said, " The London market shows no signs of recovering, having
seen average price falls for the last three months. While lower
value house prices continue to rise, the top end of the market,
above £500,00, has seen falls of up to 10% within the last
He dismissed predictions of a property collapse saying that low
interest rates will support the lower end of the market limiting
the overall fall this year although Chiswick will be harder hit
than most areas because of the higher number of more expensive properties.
Registry Numbers for Chiswick
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