|Smaller Properties in Demand as Mansion Tax Fears Hit Chiswick Prices|
Average value in W4 dips below a million pounds but flats at record levels
The most recent official figures are showing that Chiswick property price averages have dipped below the one million pound mark but flats continue to reach record levels.
The average price of a home sold in the W4 post code area during the last quarter of 2014 according to the Land Registry was £896,761 with 183 homes changing hands.
Flat prices in the area have continued to rise to a new all-time high average £562,026.
The top end of the market, on the other hand seems to be quiet, with the number of detached and semi-detached houses sold falling which agents are blaming on fears about a possible Mansion Tax and changes to stamp duty.
Nash Cohen of Faron Sutaria said, "The results are now showing what we have been experiencing since the recent Budget changes to Stamp Duty thresholds: a stimulus to the marketplace below the £900,000 mark and a down turn for the market over this price. The changes have effected the desired slow down to the top end of the market and the resultant upturn to the entry level in the market. This means it will be much less likely for owners with homes above £1m to trade their property with such regularity. It will also mean that developers will most probably focus on apartment development rather than large scale homes - which would be far less likely to sell in this new market place."
Alastair Hilton of Winkworth Estate Agents said, "2015 has started with strong demand for flats. There are also plenty of buyers for houses. However, they will not pay inflated prices for them. Any home that offers something special in the way of location or superior presentation, will still attract a purchaser. Once buyers realise that the Mansion Tax will not happen, the market for houses will become stronger again."
There were some transactions in the more expensive price bracket with two houses in Addison Grove changing hands during the last quarter of the year for £4,100,000 and £3,500,000 respectively.
Christian Harper of HarperFinn commented that he was not surprised to see the fall in the average house price but 'delighted' to see a much-needed boost in the flat market.
"In my 25 years of experience I have learned that the market begins with activity in the flat market. The flat owners typically buy the terraced houses, terraced house owners buy semi-detached houses and so on. I am very pleased to see these healthy building blocks for a more promising 2015 market. So far in 2015 I have seen little positivity and a genuine reduction in new buyers. Most sales have been achieved with buyers that didn’t find in 2014 that are seasoned on pricing. These buyers are making lower offers using the multitude of negative spin that is currently available.
"If the strength of the flat market remains I feel that the 2015 market will remain on a fairly even keel with sensibly priced property selling while poorly advised clients remain dreaming. Lettings on the other hand could be this years buzz word."
London continues to be the area of the country seeing the strongest price growth. During December the average price in the capital was £464,936 up another 1.8% compared to the previous month to bring the annual price rise to 16.8%
The December data shows a monthly price increase of 0.6 % bringing the annual price change to 7.0% and the average house price in England and Wales to £177,766.
The number of property transactions has increased over the last year. From July 2013 to October 2013 there was an average of 75,201 sales per month compared to 82,067 for the same period in 2014.
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist, said, 'Despite the slowdown, there is optimism that the stamp duty reforms will deliver a 2-5% boost in both sales and prices over the next 12 months, despite members in London expecting sales to decrease by between 5-10% and prices to decrease by 2-5%, with larger properties and/or those in prime areas expected to see the biggest price decreases.'
Roughly speaking the post code sector areas are as follows:
1 - Bedford Park and the north side of the High Road
2 - The south side of the eastern end of the High Rd down to the river at Corney Reach
3 - The Grove Park area and over to Strand on the Green
4 - The west of Chiswick between the A4 and Chiswick High Rd - (a high concentration of flats)
5 - The north west of Chiswick - Acton Green mainly
February 16, 2015