London

London house prices stall while Tramlink is set to expand

As people start to analyse the recent party conferences and look towards next month’s Budget, we’ve experienced a busy post-summer period as expected.

Our latest roundup features an update on London house prices and some transport news which will have an impact on the property market in the capital.

House prices in London drop by 3.2%

The latest House Price Index from Rightmove has revealed a 3.2% annual price drop in the capital, bringing asking prices down to an average of £611,000. According to the property website, the fall was mainly driven by modest activity in London’s prime boroughs, while more affordable boroughs in the city experienced price increases.

The price of property coming to the market in London also fell by 2.9% in September, the first monthly fall recorded at this time of year since 2013.

Price adjustment in high-end boroughs has come into play, with drops in five out of the six most expensive boroughs in September. Although restrictions in affordability are a major component in the slowing pace of house prices, demand for the right housing at the right price remains strong due to insufficient supply.

While a fall in some areas is very much apparent, other boroughs in the capital saw a rise in average prices.

Hackney and Southwark have recorded average annual price growth of 9.5% and 7.2% respectively – the highest increases in the capital.

According to Rightmove, the number of sales being agreed by estate agents are 4.8% higher than this time a year ago, with London performing strongly at 5.6% up despite its large monthly price fall.

Overall, property sellers need not be too concerned by average price falls, as figures are likely to start increasing again as we move towards Christmas and the New Year.

15,000 new homes to be built above London’s tube stations

Very soon, valuable spaces above and around London’s 559 railway and tube stations could soon be occupied by thousands of new homes and properties.

London is currently facing a shortage of land for development, and a fresh report conducted by think tank Centre for London reveals that increasing supply around some of London’s major transport hubs could potentially solve the issue, effectively housing more Londoners in the process.

The report, titled ‘Ideas above your station: exploring the potential for development at London’s stations’, looks at how increasing density around transport hubs with new homes, offices and shops could open up the creation of new civic centres with good architecture. The report also highlights how this scheme could release financing to develop the stations themselves, ensuring London has a ‘world-class transport infrastructure’.

The value of London homes is often linked to how accessible nearby transport links are, which means properties above a tube or railway station are likely to be more desirable than most. Unbeknownst to some, the process is already underway, with new-build homes being included at London stations undergoing major refurbishment.

Areas such as King’s Cross and Vauxhall have successful residential schemes designed to enhance the redevelopment of their respective stations. Whether said schemes are built as part of an upgrade of existing stations or incorporated early into new networks, challenges are sure to follow.

This news has sparked massive resistance to building at or near stations, with residents claiming the process to be problematic: equalling high costs, complicated logistics and disrupted station services.

However, in the interests of unlocking some of the capital’s most valuable land, Centre for London argues that these challenges could be met with forward-thinking and thorough planning.

Tramlink back on track

The planned Tramlink extension in south-west London is set to transform key areas along the route, from Sutton to South Wimbledon.

Since being reintroduced in 2001 in Croydon, the London tram is on the move once again. The new branch will run from South Wimbledon to Sutton, passing through Morden along the way.

The budget has been allocated from Transport for London’s £550 million growth fund, a sum of money set to aid boroughs with small transport infrastructure projects. The project will support new jobs, over 10,000 new homes, and improved accessibility for public transport to Morden, Sutton town centre and St Helier.

All told, the extension could cost up to £350 million. Currently, TfL is waiting on Merton and Sutton councils to contribute to the project before timeframes can be agreed.

That’s all for now, we’ll be back again soon to keep you up to date with the latest London property news.

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