London house prices show return to health for the first time in three years, reports Zoopla
27th November 2019
Less than a quarter (23%) of London postcodes have registered negative house price growth over the last month, down from 82% registering price falls a year ago
- Rate of growth in London increases to +1% annually, up from -1.1% 12 months prior
- House price growth across all UK cities was below 5% for the past quarter - the first time since November 2012
- UK city house price growth is +2.9%, ranging from +4.7% in Leicester to -5.9% in Aberdeen
- Edinburgh, Leicester, Manchester and Birmingham have posted growth in excess of 15% since the start of 2017 – with pace expected to moderate into 2020
UK city house price growth has picked up to 2.9% supported by a 1% increase in London house prices, according to the October Zoopla UK Cities House Price Index (see table 1)*.
There is evidence of firmer pricing in cities across southern England, most notably in the London city index, where prices have increased by +1% in the past year. This is the highest rate of growth for two years, following a period of year on year price falls (see figure 2)*.
Today, house prices are registering month on month price falls in less than a quarter of London’s housing markets – well down on the 85% of markets registering price falls a year ago and the lowest coverage of price falls since May 2017. Over three quarters of London’s homes are in markets registering small month on month price increases, which have lifted the overall annual growth rate to +1%.
The shift in London house price momentum is down to a decrease in the number of new properties for sale, which has restricted supply. This is a trend that has been developing for the last 12 months and has been accelerated by the announcement of the election on 12th December.
Additionally, Zoopla data shows a notable increase in the number of sales agreed per agency branch; while this increase is off a low base, it indicates that there is renewed demand for housing in London after a sizable drop in sales volumes over the last three years.
More realistic pricing
More realistically priced homes are the final ingredient supporting improved market conditions in London. In early 2016, when demand started to weaken, the market grappled with a 20% gap between the price of new listings coming to the market for sale and the price of property being marked as sold on Zoopla. This gap has steadily closed over the last four years to a more sustainable level of 5% (see figure 3)*. We believe this will support growth in the number of sales in London over 2020, although we still expect house price growth to remain in low single digits.
A regional slowdown
While London’s housing market has been through an extended slowdown, accompanied by lower sales, large regional cities – once the engines of house price growth – are starting to show signs of slower growth. House price growth since the start of 2017 has exceeded 15% across Edinburgh, Leicester, Manchester and Birmingham, but the pace of growth is slowing. All the cities covered by the index are registering price growth of less than 5% per annum – a trend that has become established over the last quarter (see figure 1)*. This is the first-time growth across all cities has been below 5% since November 2012.
Scottish Stagnation: Edinburgh and Glasgow
North of the border, house price growth remains steady in Edinburgh and Glasgow at 4.0% and 2.6% respectively. However, this October report marks the four-year anniversary of consecutive year on year house price falls in Aberdeen caused by the collapse in the oil price in 2015.
Commenting on the October Zoopla UK Cities House Price Index Richard Donnell, Research and Insight Director at Zoopla, said: “After a three-year repricing process accompanied by a sizable decline in housing sales, the London housing market is finally showing signs of life. The shift in momentum is clear, resulting from a lack of supply, increased sales and more realistic pricing, which bode well for higher sales activity in 2020, rather than a pick-up in house price growth.
“While the London housing market has been in the doldrums, market conditions in regional cities have been stronger over the last two years with demand supported by employment growth and attractive housing affordability. The rate of growth is slowing, and all cities are registering annual growth of less than 5%.
“The announcement of the General Election has brought forward the usual seasonal slowdown, but the last few weeks of the year pre-Christmas tend to be much quieter than after Boxing Day, when consumer interest in housing springs back to life.”
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About Zoopla’s UK Cities House Price Index
Zoopla’s House Price Indices are based on the largest underlying data sample of any UK house price index. The 20 cities covered by the index contain 35% of the UK housing stock by volume and 43% of capital value. Our index FAQ’s have all the information about our indices and how they are run. Data for the index is powered by Hometrack, a part of Zoopla. Hometrack is a leading provider of automated property valuations and statistical property market insights in the UK to over 400 partners including mortgage lenders, developers, investors, government agencies, housing associations and others.
For further information contact:
Phone: D +44 20 7457 2056
Research and Insight Director, Zoopla
Phone: 07725 822567
The Zoopla Limited property division includes some of the UK's leading property portal, software, marketing and data insights brands that help property professionals market their properties, promote their brand, make informed decisions and manage their business efficiently. Our websites and apps attract over 50 million visits per month and over 25,000 business partners use our range of services.
- Zoopla is the UK's most comprehensive property portal, helping consumers research the market and find their next home by combining hundreds of thousands of property listings with market data and local information.
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- SmartNewHomes is the UK's leading website dedicated exclusively to new builds, helping buyers understand the market and search for new build homes from all the leading property developers across the country.
- Hometrack and Calcasa are leading providers of automated property valuations and statistical property market insights in the UK and the Netherlands to partners including mortgage lenders, developers, investors, government agencies, housing associations and others.
- Alto, Jupix and Expert Agent are some of the leading cloud-based estate agency and property management software systems used by thousands of property professionals across the UK for the day-to-day management of inventory, marketing and communications.
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