London’s spring sellers have felt sufficiently confident to market their properties at an average of £431,013, a new asking price record.
Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove comments: “Estate agents are reporting buoyant market conditions and sales activity in the capital resulting in a shortage of property for sale in popular areas. While the rest of the country struggles to sell or raise deposits to buy, demand from cash-rich buyers in London has meant that sellers can ask record prices. It is driven by London’s international status, its preponderance of wealthier buyers, and a shortage of available land and properties. However, this is not like the most recent boom where easy credit and record bonus pay-outs led to large increases in asking prices every month. This time it’s crept up on the market, with prices fluctuating month-to-month but overall driven by an on-going shortage of property being outstripped by consistent demand”.
The buoyant market conditions have encouraged more sellers onto the market, though the increases in fresh stock numbers have still failed to satisfy demand. New seller numbers are up 15% on April last year, up from an average of 4,208 per week to 4,836. There is a more dramatic recovery against the muted 2009 figure, with 59% more Londoners choosing to market their properties this April compared to two years ago. The strength of demand has meant that only 3 boroughs out of 32 have recorded monthly asking price falls, with Westminster, Islington and Hillingdon showing marginal reverses.
Shipside comments: “While we often see monthly fluctuations, the theme this month is for sellers to be asking more in the vast majority of boroughs. There is a continuing shortage of properties in the more popular locations, though it is still essential for sellers to employ good marketing tactics to achieve the best price rather than just a quick sale”.