A guest post by Gabby Adler, an Independent Property Finder.
Last week the Evening Standard reported on the recent house price index figures for July from the Land Registry. Interestingly they were one of the only newspapers to report on the figures from the individual London boroughs and not just the overall national average.
We all know that house prices always make headlines especially when there is a dramatic national decrease, but how do these figures affect Richmond-upon-Thames?
The July figures reported that house prices in the borough have increased by 1.5% from June 2012 to July 2012 and 8.1% annually; this brings the average house price to £480,327. This means that house prices in the borough have seen the fourth largest increase of any London borough over the past year behind only Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham and Westminster.
So how do these figures affect you? Well it’s good news for property owners but very bad news for buyers. Over the past year the average value of a terraced house has increased by £40,177 from £497.797 to £537,874, bringing it over the 4% stamp duty threshold. With buyers taking months and sometimes years to find the right house they will need to continually adjust their budget upwards if this trend continues. In this market, taking a long time to find a property to buy really will be costing you money.
The figures also show that a buyer who has chosen to put their search on hold over the summer will find that average sale prices for detached homes in the borough have increased by £28,411 since May, when the average cost of these properties was £892,868, bringing the July average price up to £921,279.
So why are prices in Richmond-upon-Thames increasing so rapidly?
Richmond remains a very popular place for families to move to from central London despite the economic downturn. Buyers are still attracted to the area because it offers a chance to move out of their small flats and into a house within the catchment areas of the outstanding schools that Richmond offers.
On top of this, prices are driven up due to the fact that there is a shortage of decent family homes for sale. Therefore there is significant competition for these properties not only from these buyers moving into the Richmond but also from those looking to move within the area. As long as this lack of stock continues, Richmond’s house prices will carry on rising and it explains why the borough is bucking the national trend of falling house prices brought on by the economic downturn.
We can see that these factors are causing price increases across all types of housing in Richmond. For example, I recently commented on Twitter that ex-council houses in Barnes are now selling for over £160,000 more than they were selling for at the end of 2010 – it is not just the Victorian terrace houses on desirable roads that are shooting up in value.
What other aspects of the local property market should we have our eye on?
Buyers should be aware of the recent trend of sellers choosing to have an open house when they launch their property onto the market. This tactic is proving very successful in gaining multiple viewings of the property on the first day of it being on the market and buyers should be aware that many of these houses do receive offers directly after the open house. So buyers who wait to view after the open house could lose out.
As we approach autumn, buyers and renters should be focusing on finding a property before the New Year if they are planning on making a primary school application for 2013/14. As buying becomes increasing difficult renting in a catchment area can be a very sensible option to ensure you are eligible to make a placement application for your child. It also puts you in a strong position to buy later because when you do find that right house you can show you are a cash ready buyer who can move as soon as necessary.
Gabby Adler is an Independent Property Finder that works exclusively with families and couples looking to buy or rent in Richmond-upon-Thames. If you would like help with your property search please visit www.gabbyadler.co.uk or call me directly on 07500 906 107.
For a link to the Land Registry figures I’ve quoted please click here.