There have been mixed reports about the state of the property market this summer; and when you stop to consider the sheer number of different indices from which you can base your opinion; it’s somewhat unsurprising that reports range from the optimistic to the downright depressing.
Primelocation and Zoopla for example, track the asking price, not the sales price, which provides a current, if rather an inaccurate and negative view of the market. The Land Registry House Price Index (HPI) on the other hand is based on the sold price. Although perhaps not as up to date as other reports, the HPI does have the benefit of being the most accurate indicator of the state of the housing market.
So, how is property faring in the summer of 2010? According to the HPI, house prices in London at least are at the same levels they were in 2007.
In England and Wales there has been a significant growth in the volume of properties on the market that have sold at over £250,000; this growth more than doubles at the highest end of the market. In London the number of properties sold for more than £2,000,000 in April 2010 has almost quadrupled compared to the same time last year.
As Manse & Garret predicted three years ago, the high end prime central London market is flourishing, in particular in Kensington & Chelsea, where the average price of a property has increased by more than £6,000 since May. There will continue to be demand for high end property in prime central London, where property tempts buyers not only from the capital and the UK, but from the rest of the world. The UK property market, like the UK economy may still be on shaky ground, but for overseas investors prime central London real estate will always be a fairly safe haven for cash.