Pockets of London have escaped a trend for soaring house prices across the UK, with some areas seeing properties sell for, on average, 13.2 per cent less than they did last year.
According to mylondon.news, the cost of buying a home has rocketed since the pandemic, growing at the fastest rate for over 17 years. Most of this surge is down to the stamp duty holiday introduced in July: The Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggested the change in tax may have led to sellers asking for higher prices since buyer’s overall costs were reduced.
It’s also believed that Londoners leaving the city in search of more spacious properties has impacted demand.
While people scrambling to purchase homes pushed costs sky high across the UK, parts of London have seen the opposite happen, with prices falling across five boroughs.
Here’s a breakdown of the data from the ONS’s UK House Price Index and more on what’s going on in the housing market in the capital.
City of London
Average house prices have seen the biggest decline in the capital’s financial district, the City of London.
The cost of a home in the Square Mile declined by a huge 13.2 per cent over the past year; given how small the area is, the drop in price will be on the basis of just a few sales.
There’s no doubt, however, that the changes to working patterns since the pandemic, with many no longer coming to the office, will have had a dramatic impact on the area. While the City of London employs 10 per cent of the capital, amounting to over 500,000 people, only 7,700 actually live there.
A man takes a photo of the skyline from London Bridge, in London, during morning rush hour after the introduction of measures to bring the country out of lockdown. PA Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 20, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
City of Westminster
Over the last year, house prices in the City of Westminster have dropped by 7.9 per cent. With a population of 250,000 the borough is much larger than the City of London and has a diverse portfolio of properties on offer, from townhouses in Marylebone and Mayfair, to family homes in Maida Vale and St John’s Wood.
The City of Westminster is one of the most prestigious boroughs in London, home to the Queen when she’s staying at Buckingham Palace, the Prime Minister, at 10 Downing Street and over 11,000 listed buildings, as well as four Royal Parks.
Kensington and Chelsea
Some of the most expensive homes in London are in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. While being neighbours with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will have cost you an average of £1.3 million in 2020, that’s now dropped to £1.23 million in 2021, 4.8 per cent less.
Though house prices are high in the area, the borough is actually the smallest in London and one of the most densely populated. Residents are not short of entertainment though, as it’s home to a legion of museums including the Victoria & Albert, as well as the luxury shopping district of Knightsbridge.
Despite being one of the most expensive boroughs in London, the price homes in Kensington and Chelsea have dropped 4.8 per cent in the past year (Image: Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
While house prices in South London, in areas such as Greenwich, Croydon and Lambeth grew over the last year, Southwark bucked the trend with a 1.7 per cent decline in the average cost of a home.
Though the borough is just south of the Thames River, it’s situated centrally and is home to many key attractions in the city including the Shard, Tate Modern and London Bridge Station, as well as Borough Market.
Many students are drawn to living in Southwark as its home to a cluster of prestigious universities including University of the Arts London and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
The area which saw the smallest decline in average prices was Hackney, with only a 1.6 per cent decline. Situated in the north-east of the city, average house prices there are in the upper £500k mark.