London Saw 2.3% Annual Growth in February, Pre-Coronavirus

PUBLISHED ON May 6, 2020

Property prices in London grew more in February than at any other point in the last two-and-a-half-years, according to a report from the U.K. government’s Land Registry released.

Not only was the 2.3% annual growth the highest recorded since September 2017, it was also higher than any other region in England and pushed the typical price of a home in the capital up to £476,972.

London appeared to be starting to emerge from a years-long period of stagnant market conditions caused by political uncertainty and tax increases. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s December reelection combined with the occurrence of the much-delayed Brexit in January gave the city a boost of sentiment and certainty.

However, with the U.K. now in lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic, its future—along with the rest of the country—is less certain.

“We’ve seen the level of stock entering the market drop off a cliff in many areas so to speak, and we wait with bated breath to see what impact the pandemic will have on cold hard sales,” Marc von Grundherr, director of estate agency Benham and Reeves, said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, due to the delayed nature of the reporting of completed property transactions, it shall be another month at least before we start to see any official signs of a market decline,” he added.

Across the entirety of the U.K., property prices increased 1.1% year over year in February, bringing the average home price nationwide to £230,332, according to the index.

Increases were highest in Wales, where property prices in February rose 3.4% annually to an average of £164,435.

In Scotland, property prices rose 2.5% to an average of £150,524; and in England—which is home to the majority of the U.K.’s real estate transactions—the average price rose 0.8% to £246,341.

The report also analyzed Northern Ireland’s quarterly prices and found the average price increased 2.5% to £140,190 in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.

The report did not break out prices for the luxury market.

Source: Mansion Global