|Renewed Optimism on Chiswick Property Prices|
Prices flat according to latest numbers but agents see upside
Property prices in Chiswick continue to trail those in London and the rest of the country according to the latest figures.
New numbers released by the Land Registry show that prices have increased by 2.4% over the same period last year. The average property in Chiswick now costs £392,257. For the country as a whole average price increased by 12.2% from £145,251 in 2002 whereas for Greater London the average property price was up by 7.8% to £260,659.
A detailed analysis of the numbers shows that prices have been even more moribund than the overall figures suggest. The average price of a flat or a terraced house is down over the course of the year with greater activity at the top end of the market bringing the average price up.
However, these figures only cover the period up to the end of December 2003 and more recent, anecdotal evidence gives greater cause for optimism. Volumes in Chiswick have recovered slightly faster than prices and some agents are clearly winning market share.
Stephen Rodgers of Berkeley Consultants, who are Independent Mortgage Specialists based on Chiswick High Road, reports a buoyant housing market in Chiswick with record lending.
Christine Fox, a director at Faron Sutaria on Turnham Green Terrace describes the start of the year as "fabulous" with hundreds of new buyers registered and a "real enthusiasm in the air". She said, "The mood has changed totally since the end of last year and we are very busy."
She feels that the 'Spring' market has already arrived and says that 1-2 bed flats up to £300,000 are selling like hot potatoes. This suggests that at the right price buyers are willing to re-enter the market - flat prices have been weak but the differential between the price of the average terraced house and average flat in Chiswick has fallen back to historic lows. Higher up the market there are also attractive opportunities. Farons have recently been instructed to sell a highly unusual house on Flanders Road which is owned by a specialist in paint finishes and offers an extraordinary finish and attention to detail.
Derek Fletcher of Fletcher Estates expressed cautious optimism on the market and also reported a higher level of enquiries. He said, "One noticeable difference in between this January and the same month last year is the lack of supply; a combination I believe, of a busy last quarter of 2003 and sellers, disappointed in last year's values, holding back from going onto the market. "
He remains concerned at the house price/earnings ratio reaching historically high levels and its effect, particularly on first time buyers - with one bedroom flats in Chiswick starting around £210,000-£225000, at traditional borrowing levels of 3x income most first time buyers need to be earning £60,000 to £70,000 per annum to get on the property ladder!
However with the 'City' now recruiting again for the first time in two/three years and an upturn in the stock market, Derek sees an new air of optimism in buyers registering this year. He predicts that if demand remains at this level, prices will rise although at a more pedestrian level than speculated in the press. It also remains to be seen what effect rising interest rates will have on market confidence combined with talk of a hike in Stamp Duty in the next budget.
He concluded "Chiswick has become a 'destination' area and if properties are priced correctly then, as we saw last Autumn and have seen so far this year, there are still buyers out there''.
Property Prices in Chiswick - October - Dec 2003
Property Prices in Chiswick - July - September 2003
Source: Land Registry
Copyright notice: All figures in this article are based on data released by the Land Registry. The numbers are derived from analysis performed by ChiswickW4.com. Any use of these numbers should jointly attribute the Land Registry and ChiswickW4.com
February 10, 2004