Following a 0.9% quarter-on-quarter increase, and a 3.9% annualised rise, the average UK house price now sits at £295,373 — the highest on record.
Meanwhile, 229,373 sales took place in England and Wales in Q3, an 8.3% jump from the previous quarter.
Naomi Heaton, chief executive officer of London Central Portfolio, commented: “The latest data from Land Registry indicates a more positive outlook, both for London and across the country, following a period of slow growth as tax changes, Brexit and domestic issues have impacted general sentiment. This improving picture in both sales volumes and prices is certainly good news for homeowners, particularly when other indices, such as Halifax, are reporting the weakest consumer sentiment since 2012.”
The London market, which has borne recent witness to a period of volatility, saw sales volumes up 7.5% against Q2. And although average London prices fell 2.8% quarter-on-quarter, they were 8.3% higher than Q3 2016 – and currently stand at £619,203.
Since the Additional Rate Stamp Duty (ARSD) was introduced in Q2 2016 until Q1 2017, London had seen consistent double digit falls in transactions. However, the latest data showed improving growth, with volumes up 7.5% on a quarterly basis to 23,737, following an uptick of 1.15% in the previous quarter.
Purchasing dynamics also shifted, with the statistics showing a move in London from flats to houses and suggesting that higher value buyers may be returning to the market. Compared to Q3 2016, Q3 2017 saw a 20% increase in house buying, with semi-detached properties proving the most popular with a 9% increase, followed by detached houses at an 8% jump. However, the same period also saw an 8% decline in flat sales.
“It is encouraging to see the market pick up following unusual volatility over the last two years in the face of penal tax changes,” Heaton said.
“The increase in semi-detached and detached house sales indicates that the suburbs of London may be making a recovery, having been held back since the introduction of graduated Stamp Duty and the tightening of mortgage lending criteria,” she continued, “the return of higher value buyers to the market is also evidenced in Prime Central London where LCP has seen a trebling of its ‘home’ buying clients, acquiring in prestigious areas like Regent’s Park and Knightsbridge.”
“Whilst the latest outlook for London and England and Wales is encouraging, rumours of further tax changes in next week’s Budget could make or break any conspicuous recovery. The Chancellor should take heed of the delicate position of the market where more interference may tip the scales back in the other direction,” Heaton added.