|Is This As Good As It Gets For Chiswick Property?|
Will better amenities and public transport make other areas a better option?
The latest figures show that the average price of a home in Chiswick has reached a new record high at over £1,000,000. Yet some local property experts are urging caution pointing out that improved public amenities and better public transport, particularly in those areas set to benefit from Crossrail, are leading to W4 potentially falling back in the ranking of top places to live in London.
The days when people moved to Chiswick and stayed there for generations appear to be over, according to one local estate agent, who warns that property owners in W4 should not be complacent about its status while nearby areas begin to offer more attractions such as cinemas.
Christian Harper of Harper Finn says the latest property sales show that at least half of the Chiswick residents selling terraced houses have made the decision to move out of the area rather than ‘trading up’ in Chiswick.
He claims that people are now expecting the area they live in to provide a diversity of attractions. Ealing and Acton are both scheduled to get new cinemas for example. Mr. Harper blames stamp duty and tightening mortgage criteria for the exodus of terraced house owners who are not staying to 'trade up' in W4 in the traditional way.
"I doubt that Chiswick will be replaced as one of the most desirable residential areas in London however we shouldn't just sit back and let other areas take our demand. I do think that Chiswick needs to invest to protect its good name "
"We rely on having a good selection of restaurants, good schools and being on the tube far too much and need to support some diversity. It's about time we had a cinema again!"
Figures from the Land Registry show that the average sale in the W4 post code area took place at £1,010,753. This is up 1% on the same period last year which was the previous peak of the local property market. The full strength of the market is probably masked due to a higher proportion of flat sales during the period.
The top end of the market has been a lot less active in recent months which local agents put down to the stamp duty changes in the budget. Nevertheless there remains demand for larger family houses with the top priced sale so far in the second half of 2015 being the £3,690,000 paid for a seven bedroom house in Flanders Road.
Estate agents in Ealing say they are seeing an influx of househunters from Chiswick and even further afield areas such as Clapham seeking to jump on the Crossrail 'bandwagon' - the rail link is scheduled to be completed in 2019.
Another report last week suggested that the prospect of additional airport noise from a potential 'third runway' could start to put people off buying in W4. There is also speculation that the high-rise developments recently granted approval by Hounslow Council might affect the image of 'leafy' Chiswick.
The September figures from the Land Registry’s Market Trend Data survey show that London remains the country’s best performing area in terms of residential property price rises. The average price in the capital is now just short of half a million at £499,997 up by 9.6% over the last year. The average property value in England and Wales rose by 5.3%to £186,553. Monthly house prices up 1.0 per cent since August 2015.
The number of completed house sales in England and Wales decreased by 4% to 81,696 compared with 84,691 in July 2014. The number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1 million in July 2015 decreased by 9% to 1,413 from 1,555 a year earlier. Repossessions in England and Wales decreased by 50 per cent to 471 compared with 943 in July 2014 with only 36 taking place in London during the month.
In October, 25% more chartered surveyors in London saw house prices rise according to the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey, compared to a balance of 26% more in September, showing a steady increase month-on-month.
However, only 5% more chartered surveyors are expecting a rise in prices in the capital over the next three months – this is the lowest reading across the UK over this time period. Despite this, the twelve month view for the capital is still relatively strong with 53% more respondents expecting prices to increase.
Demand from potential buyers grew modestly across London in October with 7% more respondents seeing a rise in new buyer enquiries. Demand continues to considerably outpace supply and the number of new instructions decreased for the ninth month in succession, with 9% more chartered surveyors reporting a fall, contributing to the rise in prices in the capital. The supply of new listings to the UK market as a whole has been in decline since the start of the 2015 with a decrease in new instructions in London every month this year.
In the London lettings market, demand increased at broadly similar pace to that of supply in the three months to October, as new landlord instructions rose at the quickest quarterly pace since early 2014. Nevertheless, rental expectations remain strong and respondents continue to expect rents to rise over the year ahead. Rental growth in the London is anticipated to accelerate to an average of around 4.5% per year over the coming five years.
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist, commented, “It is hard to get away from the issue of supply when it comes to the current state of the housing market. The legacy of the drop in new build following the onset of the global financial crisis is now really hitting home with both the sales and letting markets continuing to show demand outstripping supply on a month by month basis. And if the five year projections from members regarding the outlook for both prices and rents is anything to go by, property is set to become even more unaffordable going forward making the governments focus of boosting to delivery of new homes absolutely critical.”
Changes to the tax regime have also had an impact in the top end of the market with the turnover of larger family houses in the area falling.
Adrian Gill, director of Reeds Rains and Your Move estate agents, said, “The Chancellor’s intimidating Stamp Duty remodel is still spooking the top end of the London market. Properties worth over £1.5 million have been hit with a stamp duty increase, currently set at 12% of the portion of the property’s value above £1.5m, up from 5% previously. As a result, sales of homes worth more than £1.5 million have fallen by 35% in Q3, compared to a year ago. This tax has really put the shackles on the prime market in the capital, as three quarters of these sales since January 2014 took place in London.“
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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
November 16, 2015