The global appeal of the prime central London property market means it is unlikely to be affected by any dips experienced elsewhere in the UK. This is the opinion of Naomi Heaton, chief executive officer of London Central Portfolio, who described this section of the city's real estate market as "a go-to place, a safe haven". She added properties in prime London locations are generally targeted by purchasers who do not have to rely on credit, which makes the market "far more robust than the UK in general".
Director of Mouseprice Selwyn Lim attributed the strong price rises in the capital's prime districts to an influx of wealthy overseas buyers who are seeking a property investment in a stable location. Ms Heaton pointed out there is a significant disparity between the prices of homes in greater London and those in the most desirable areas of the city. She cited figures from the HM Land Registry, which revealed property values in Islington and Southwark increased by 0.5 per cent and 3.2 respectively year-on-year in May. By contrast, residential real estate in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea saw its value rocket by 14 per cent in the same period.
The recent Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) UK Housing Market Survey for June underlined the trend for London to outperform the rest of the country, noting it is the only area where price expectations remain in positive territory for the coming three months. According to the Rics data, more of its members recorded a fall in the number of enquiries and new seller instructions during June, compared to the previous month, while an increasing number of respondents reported house prices dropped, rather than increased, during the same period. Simon Rubinsohn, Rics chief economist, stated there is unlikely to be significant movement in the UK's housing market "until purchasing a property is more affordable and accessible for the likes of first-time buyers".
- Tuesday 24 July 2012