There are now nearly a dozen buyers for each new property that comes onto the London real estate market, showing more and more people are eager to get onto the housing ladder. According to a new report from Sequence - owners of 300 branches such as William H Brown - buyer registrations are up by 50 per cent over the year for the capital, with an average of just under 12 would-be-buyers per home.
However, new instructions have dropped by one per cent over the month, rising just 17 per cent annually. This is less than a third the rate of demand and is part of a pattern repeated elsewhere in the country. Indeed, UK buyer registrations increased four per cent over the month and 24 per cent annually but overall property instructions in Britain fell two per cent over the month and increased a marginal four per cent over the year. This makes new instruction growth six times slower than annual buyer registrations - amounting to six buyers per property.
In London, prices have also dropped month-on-month by two per cent but increased six per cent annually to an average of GBP 390,355. This has broadly mirrored what is happening across the UK too, with prices remaining flat month-on-month but rising annually to an average of GBP 204,340. First-time buyers are, however, returning to the market, with applications up 46 per cent annually and four per cent month-on-month.
David Plumtree, chief executive at Sequence, said: "We have been deluged by new buyer activity in the last month proving that the aspiration for home ownership across the UK, and in London in particular, is very much alive and growing. As a result there are almost 12 buyers for every property in London and six buyers for every property across the UK. This growing competition for property is now impacting on house prices."
Mr Plumtree is confident these conditions will continue now the government has fast-tracked the second part of the Help to Buy scheme, opening it up to the pre-owned market. "Competition for property is only going to increase, fanning the flames for frustrated buyers," he said. However, Cluttons predicts that rising prices will drive people away from the south-east, including London. They observed that more than two thirds of people (72 per cent) believe house prices in London and the south-east will rise more than earnings over the next decade.
- Wednesday 23 October 2013