Headline Fall Masks Strong Market

Average Chiswick terrace now worth half a million

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The latest numbers for property prices in the Chiswick area appear at first sight to suggest that the market was very weak in the most recent quarter with prices down over 10% compared to the previous 3 months. However, the headline statistic appears to have been distorted in by fluctuations in the number of transactions at the top end of the market.

Over the last year (up to the end of December) the average property in W4 has fallen by 1.7% The average home price in W4 is now just over £400,000.

Much of the fall during the quarter can be attributed to a sharp fall in the number of seven figure properties changing hands whereas, between July and September 2005, some of the most expensive ever houses in W4 were sold. In the Bedford Park area alone 13 semi-detached properties were sold at an average price of close to £1,000,000.

On a like for like basis the picture is more reassuring with terrace properties rising by 2% over the quarter and 3.7% over the last year confirming pundits' predictions that this sector of the market would remain strong due to a shortage of new supply. On average a terrace property in Chiswick now costs £508,936.

Flats in Chiswick also saw a rise in price over the last year with a 2.5% rise. The average flat in the area will now set you back £261,689.

According to the Land Registry, the average house price in England and Wales fell by 2% to £191,327 between October and December. The figures seem to contradict surveys from mortgage lenders which had claimed that prices started to accelerate as 2005 drew to a close.

Christine Fox, sales director at Faron Sutaria, prefers to look forward than back, saying that her firm is seeing a record number of buyers combined with a shortage of properties. "We have had a fantastic start to the year - seasonal shortages of property has resulted in some exceptional prices being achieved. All the figures are around 3 months later than 'real time' so the activity now will not filter through to Land Registry numbers until May time when the press will inevitably have changed their tune." She reports that recently her office saw 6 competitive bid situations in a week, something that hasn't been seen for a long time.

Stephen Rodgers from Local Independent Financial Advisers Berkeley Consultants commented that " although house price inflation is at it's lowest level for a decade, there is no signs that prices are about to fall moreover, what there is for sale in W4 at the moment seems to be selling at a premium. "

Nick Silverstone of Burlingtons said he was surprised by the figures showing a fall and confirmed Christine's assertion that there was a limited supply of sensibly priced property on the market. He said, "We have had multiple instances of two or three offers being submitted on a property and having to choose between more than one willing and able buyer! Whilst I do not believe there to have been a significant increase in the value of local stock, I can see no evidence of any reductions in their values either. We certainly have unencumbered buyers actively looking in all prices ranges currently."

The average price of a London property is now £298,051 and volumes in the capital's market are starting to improve. In Chiswick the current figures suggest that volumes are around the same level as last year's very depressed levels but many transactions are reported late to the Land Registry so it may be that in the final analysis this quarter marks a turning point for activity levels on the market.

February 18, 2010