|Estate Agent Closures on Turnham Green Terrace Predicted|
Head of one local firm says competitors are setting high valuations out of desperation
A leading local estate agent is striking a cautious note after the latest figures show the average price in Chiswick rose by a fifth over the last year to just under a million pounds.
Christian Harper of HarperFinn warned prospective purchasers against 'buying into a dream' and accused some of his competitors of overvaluing properties in a 'desperate' attempt to get instructions. Given the uncertain economic background, he believes that only realistically priced property will sell and expects there to be fewer estate agents on Turnham Green Terrace in the future.
He said, "I think it's fair to say that the Chiswick property market in 2016 is a different landscape to many previous years, despite what some clients are being told. With world economics being unsettled, elections, talk about in or out of Europe and changes to stamp duty and property taxation the market is bound to be affected."
Overall the average price of a property in the W4 post code area rose by 22.1% in the first quarter of the year to £997,434. The corresponding period in 2015 saw prices fall due to concerns about the election and the possibility of a 'Mansion Tax' being imposed. Most of the rise in the headline number is due to more larger properties being sold in the most recent period. The price of flats and terraced houses have only changed marginally over the last 12 months.
The top price paid so far this year was £4,500,000 for an 8 bedroom semi-detached house with an outdoor swimming pool on Chiswick Lane. Generally, however, the top end of the market has been relatively quiet.
Christian added, "The biggest problem that I face is that when I visit clients they are still receiving ridiculous valuation ranges, one recently had a £750,000 spread in valuation between different agents. "
He said there were wild overvaluations due to desperation on the market and predicted that agents would soon start to move out of Turnham Green Terrace.
"In summary I suggest that if you are looking to sell, don’t buy into a dream, ask a local expert."
The Land Registry’s March data for London shows a 13.9% rise over the last year to £534,785. This is higher than any other part of the country and makes London average twice the average for any other part of the country including the South East.
Annual growth of 6.7% in March brings the average house price in England and Wales to £189,901.
Over the last year prices in the London Borough of Hounslow rose by 14.7% to £415,267 and in Ealing borough prices rose by 10.3% to £507,058.
The latest survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has revealed that growth in the private and public housing sectors in London slowed down considerably. Private housing workloads rose at their slowest pace since Q4 2012, with only 20% more of those working in the sector reporting a rise in activity rather than a fall over the first quarter of 2016. During the last quarter of 2015 that figure was 44 per cent.
This easing in the private housing sector has not been offset by any increase in the construction of public housing, with growth in this sector remaining broadly unchanged from the previous quarter, and just 11% more surveyors reporting a rise rather than a fall in activity.
RICS Chief Economist, Simon Rubinsohn said, “On the surface, it might seem surprising that we are witnessing a slowdown in the construction sector just a few months after hearing the Chancellor’s ‘We Are The Builders’ speech, given the Government’s significant commitment to this sector. One might well ask why growth in private housing workloads is softening at a time when policy is firmly focussed on the creation of new starter homes. We have long held the view that starter homes cannot be the only solution. There is an issue around the availability of land on which new houses can be built, and we would like to see more being done to free up private brownfield sites.
“Our survey tells us that planning delays are one of the biggest barriers to growth in the construction sector. We have recommended that councils work together to create a team of emergency planners who can parachute into boroughs that are experiencing significant delays, therefore reducing a major growth barrier.
“That said, we cannot discount the climate of uncertainty caused by the forthcoming EU referendum. We know that a range of sectors have been affected by these issues as investors look to delay.
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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