Posts tagged ‘London’
The number of homeowners in Britain who can claim to be ‘property millionaires’ now stands at 484,081, almost 50 per cent higher than last year, according the latest research from Zoopla.
The latest Property Rich List 2014 from Zoopla shows the 10 most expensive streets in Britain have seen property values grow 12.9 per cent in the last year, compared to the rest of the country where average values have risen by 6.6 per cent over the same period.
The growth in property values at the top end of the market has also helped increase the number of streets with an average property value of more than £1m by almost a third in the past year to 10,613. Just under a third of the streets with average property values over £1m are located in London (3,744).
There are now 12 streets with average house prices of more than £10m, all of which unsurprisingly are in London. The average property on Kensington Palace Gardens, the most expensive street, is now worth £42,730,706 – 162 times the value of the average British home, which is currently valued at £263,705, according to Zoopla. For this price, you will be able to count the Sultan of Brunei as your neighbour on this exclusive ‘Billionaires Row’.
The Boltons in SW10 takes second place on this year’s property rich list with average house prices standing at £26,570,341, and Grosvenor Crescent in SW1 rounds out the top three with average property prices of £22,293,470. Outside of the capital, the most expensive street in Britain is Sunninghill Road in Surrey, where the average home is currently worth £5,605,067. The two most expensive towns outside London are both in Surrey, with average house prices in Virginia Water at £1,186,262 and Cobham at £1,003,400.
W8 (Kensington) remains London’s most prestigious postcode, with average property prices in the area of £2.78m. Neighbouring SW7 (Knightsbridge), the next most expensive area in the capital, has average values of £2.48m, while property values in third-placed SW3 (Chelsea) stand at £2.37m. The rest of the top 10 is dominated by areas in South West, West and North West London.
Zoopla’s Lawrence Hall said: “London boasts all of Britain’s 20 priciest addresses. Prime properties in the capital have long been a magnet for the super-wealthy looking for a safe investment asset. For the lucky few who can afford these stratospheric price tags, the fabulous mansions on streets like Kensington Palace Gardens and the Boltons are offering very strong returns.
“However, you don’t need to be a billionaire to get a chance to own the crème de la crème of property on offer. In Wales and the North East, you can still snap up a prime property in the region’s most desirable streets for little over £1m.”
Plans for a ‘floating village’ in London will include the right for homeowners to extend their properties, it has been revealed.
The village in London’s Royal Docks was announced by the Mayor Boris Johnson earlier this year, with the aim of transforming the 15 acres of water with homes, restaurants and bars.
And today, the Mayor’s office exclusively told Zoopla that anyone who buys a property on the site will be able to apply to the borough for planning permission.
“Homeowners would have to apply to the borough for planning permission as per normal procedures when people want to build extensions,” a spokesman for the Mayor’s office said.
With the city running out of places to live, the project is seen as a welcome addition to the capital, with London’s Mayor Boris Johnson describing it as having ‘the potential to become one of the most sought after addresses in the capital”.
A total of 50 homes are expected to be built, with their bases being constructed off-site and then transported by water into place – the planning application for which will be submitted to Newham Council in the spring next year.
A floating walkway will lead back to land, where the city plans a much larger development with tens of thousands of homes.
In the past, the Royal Docks have serviced hundreds of cargo and passenger ships each day. But they have not been in use for several decades and so it is hoped that the floating village will restore London’s docklands to their former glory.
Nine out of 10 home owners expect house prices to rise in the next six months despite almost half saying getting a mortgage is more difficult than three months ago, Zoopla reveals.
As many as 92 per cent of home owners are confident that the value of their property will increase during the rest of this year, according to the latest Zoopla Housing Market Sentiment Survey.
The average prediction is that values will rise 7.6 per cent during this period.
It comes amid growing concern that the introduction of tighter mortgage rules is stalling the housing market, with the survey suggesting four out of every 10 home owners believing getting a mortgage is now harder than three months ago.
However, the new rules are not putting the brakes on Britons carrying out home improvements with 79 per cent of home owners planning to spend at the least the same or more on doing up their properties.
However, one significant shift is in the outlook among London home owners, who are no longer the most confident in the country about house prices in their area.
The proportion of home owners in the capital expecting prices to rise in the next six months has fallen from 98 per cent to 92 per cent in the last three months. It follows a sharp increase in London, where average house prices have climbed £63,069 to £567,392.
The Zoopla survey found that the South East, the South West, the East of England and the West Midlands have all overtaken the capital in terms of homeowner confidence.
Zoopla’s Lawrence Hall said: “After months of consistent growth in the capital’s property market we are now seeing a slight increase in caution among London’s homeowners. More broadly, securing a mortgage appears to be getting harder now that the Mortgage Market Review has caused lenders to be more rigorous with their lending criteria and approval process.”
PROPORTION OF HOMEOWNERS EXPECTING PRICES TO RISE BY DECEMBER
|Region||Rise (%)||Flat (%)||Fall (%)|
|South West England||95%||4%||2%|
|South East England||95%||2%||2%|
|East of England||93%||6%||4%|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||91%||6%||4%|
|North West England||90%||7%||3%|
|North East England||87%||8%||5%|
Source: Zoopla.co.uk (July 2014)
London house prices are rising at double the rate of those in the rest of the UK as different factors drive the capital’s property market.
The typical cost of a home in London soared by 17 per cent during the year to the end of April, according to the Land Registry.
But the next highest level of growth was just 7.8 per cent in the East, while in the North East and Wales prices edged ahead by just 2.9 per cent and 3 per cent respectively.
The London property market has traditionally led the rest of the UK, with housing market recoveries and booms typically starting in the capital, before rippling out to other regions.
But the difference in price growth has now become so great that commentators are questioning whether it is still accurate to talk about the UK housing market as a whole.
House prices in London are now 25 per cent above their pre-correction peak, while in parts of prime central London they are 55 per cent higher.
But in other part of the country prices remain well down on previous levels, with property values in Wales and the North East still 15 per cent lower than they were before the correction.
Matthew Pointon, property economist at Capital Economics, pointed out that the dynamics driving the London market were very different to those in the rest of Britain.
He said: “The London economy is outperforming the rest of the UK and there is a lot of migration coming in.
“The supply and demand is even tighter in London than the rest of the country and there is the problem of foreign demand as well.”
He added: “I don’t think it has ever been accurate to lump [London and the rest of the UK] all together.”
Foreign demand is having a significant impact on the London market, with overseas buyers snapping up properties in the capital.
By contrast in the rest of the UK, first-time buyers are the driving force of the market.
Nitesh Patel, Halifax housing economist, said:“The London housing market is very different from the rest of the UK. In the prime locations of central London demand is driven by high net worth individuals many of who are cash-rich foreign buyers.
“London as a whole has a population density that is 21 times larger than the British average – 5,285 people per square km, compared to 253 per square km for the UK.”
He said the growing imbalance between housing demand and supply was adding upward pressure on the value of homes in the capital.
But in the regions, the economic recovery is only just becoming more firmly established, and has yet to lead to a significant decline in unemployment.
Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at mortgage broker John Charcol, pointed out that having such diverse property markets created a headache for policy makers.
He said: “You might in an ideal world want to have different economic policies for rest of Britain as you have for London, but Britain is in the same position as the ECB and has to have one policy for whole country area.”
Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, agreed.
He said: “The distinctive market in the capital continues to cloud the waters. Outside the cash-rich London and the South East, many regions are still in the early days of the recovery.”
He pointed out that housing markets in areas like the North East and North West were far more ‘sedate’, with first time buyers playing a key role in keeping the property market aloft.
He said: “With the capital dominated by foreign investors and buy-to-let landlords, there’s been an intensifying clamour for intervention.
“But any action must be prudent, to avoid any negative impact on the more susceptible areas of the country.”
So how do you solve a problem like ‘digger’? A small JCB digger that is. Used to dig an increasing number of basements in London and the South East, the challenge is getting them out once the work is finished. Developers are turning to an alternative solution to the problem.
The development of so-called “iceberg” homes has soared across London as homeowners who seek more space have no option but to build downwards due to the capital’s planning rules that restrict building upwards.
The luxury basements often include swimming pools, cinemas and studies – and require huge amounts of building work that can only be completed with a small digger.
The difficulty is getting the machine out again as the digger often has to go so deep into the earth that it is unable to drive out again.
Developers would often use a large crane to scoop up the digger from the large hole, but now they are no longer bothering with this approach. Instead, they are simply buried in the ground with a layer of concrete.
One developer has suggested that as many as 1,000 diggers may now be buried in London.
Ed Smith explains in the New Statesman: “A new solution emerged: simply bury the digger in its own hole. Given the exceptional profits of London property development, why bother with the expense and hassle of retrieving a used digger – worth only £5,000 or £6,000 – from the back of a house that would soon be sold for several million? The time and money expended on rescuing a digger were better spent moving on to the next big deal.”
“This metallic icon was a special sacrificial gesture”?
“The new method, now considered standard operating practice, is to cover the digger with ‘hardcore’, a mixture of sand and gravel. Then a layer of concrete is simply poured over the top.
“Digger? What digger? The digger has literally dug its own grave – just as the boring machines that excavated the Channel Tunnel were abandoned beneath the passage they had just created.”
He concludes by imagining an archaeological programme chancing upon the diggers many years from now: “What will the explanatory caption say? ‘Situated immediately adjacent to the heated underground swimming pool and cinema at the back of the house, no superior London address was complete without one of these highly desirable icons, sometimes nicknamed ;the Compact Cat’. This metallic icon was a special sacrificial gesture, a symbol of deep thanks to the most discussed, revered and pre-eminent god of the age, worshipped around the world: London Property.'”