Transaction levels — the number of houses being bought and sold — are a key indicator of the health of a local housing market. Across London, these levels fell in four out of five boroughs over the course of this year.
Those areas where prices are continuing to climb tend to be in relatively affordable boroughs, led by leafy Barnet in north London, where transaction levels are up almost six per cent, according to the new data from Savills.
Other outperformers include Barking & Dagenham, up 4.6 per cent, Havering, up 3.3 per cent, and Sutton, up 2.5 per cent. Bromley and Southwark saw marginal rises, while every other borough has seen the number of sales fall over the past year.
Within Barnet there is a cluster of areas in the north of the borough with good transport links, and a choice of modern flats and affordable family homes, which outperform the rest, led by West Hendon, where the number of sales — at an average price of £500,913 — are up 40 per cent, and Edgware, where the number of sales, priced at an average £526,467, are up 33 per cent.
In nearby Mill Hill, sales are up 28 per cent, despite average prices of £686,339.
|Ward||Borough||Change||Average price Aug 2016|
|Whalebone||Barking and Dagenham||43%||£274,311|
Adam Bunce, manager of Warren Bradley estate agents, says West Hendon’s strength has been underpinned by the regeneration of the troubled West Hendon Estate, where more than 2,000 new homes are planned by 2027.
However, he believes it is not domestic buyers boosting the market. “The new build is mostly being bought off-plan by overseas buyers, the huge majority as an investment,” he explains. “Not many people born and bred around here can afford these flats.”
A typical new two-bedroom flat, says Bunce, would cost about £350,000 to £400,000. Better value, by square foot, are the area’s three-bedroom terrace houses which typically sell to local families for between £525,000 and £550,000.
Across the capital, the strongest-performing neighbourhood of all is Southwark’s Cathedrals ward by the South Bank, with the number of sales up an astonishing 114 per cent year on year.
Experts points out, however, that this is likely due to a boom in new build launching in the area, giving buyers more choice than they had in 2015. Average prices paid in Cathedrals ward are the highest in today’s league table, at £804,098.
At almost half the price, Camberwell Green, also in Southwark, is performing strongly, too, with the number of homes sold up 57 per cent year on year. This is in part thanks to the new Camberwell on the Green development by Frasers Property. Average prices for homes in this area stand at £417,192.
“It has been a bit of a topsy-turvy year,” says Michael Oduniyi, property consultant at Beresford Residential. “It was flying at the start of the year, but then we had the increases in stamp duty, and Brexit. Now people are just coming back and starting to buy again. I’m doing more viewings now than I had all summer.”
Oduniyi’s buyers tend to be young couples who have been renting in areas such as Brixton and Peckham but can’t afford to buy there. In Camberwell Green they can pick up a three-bedroom terrace house from about £550,000, or a two-bedroom period flat from about £475,000 to £500,000.