With demand for homes strengthening in England, Greater London and the South East have emerged as the fastest-growing regions for house prices, according to e.surv House Price Index for October.
The annual growth in house prices in Greater London was 7.3 per cent while that of South East was 4.3 per cent. One of the features of the period after the first Lockdown from March to May 2020 was the return of the “London Effect”, with Greater London and the South East boosting average prices.
These positive movements in price, which are happening despite the negativity of the coronavirus pandemic, have been attributed to the stimulus of the temporary holiday in stamp duty in England, plus the desire by some to upgrade their homes to cope with the restrictions in lifestyle imposed by the lockdowns.
On an annual basis, London prices in September 2020 rose by some £43,840, a rate of growth last seen in the first quarter of 2016 when price growth peaked at 13.6 per cent. This was the month immediately prior to the introduction of the higher (3 per cent) rates of stamp duty for purchases of additional residential properties. “There is little doubt that the rise in prices seen in London and the South East in September 2020 have similarly been influenced by the temporary stamp duty holiday announced,” the e.surv report said.
Within London, the boroughs that registered high price growth were Brent (20.8 per cent), Kensington & Chelsea (20.1 per cent), Richmond upon Thames (14.6 per cent), Islington (14.2 per cent), Harrow (11.4 per cent), Hounslow (11.3 per cent), Ealing (10.8 per cent) and Wandsworth (8.7 per cent).
Commenting on the House Price Index (October 2020), Richard Sexton, director at e.surv, says: "The resilience of the housing market through the crisis has been astounding, as shown by the continual rise of prices since June. The first national lockdown, which left many in England and Wales almost totally confined to their current homes, certainly seems to have re-focused the minds of a lot of consumers onto the property market."