But Hammersmith's pint sized flats prove popular with investors and first timers
Kings Court in Hamlet Gardens
While estate agents await the promised post Brexit 'Boris Bounce' to lift the property market out of the doldrums, investors and first time buyers have been taking advantage of the current conditions by snapping up pint sized properties with equally small price tags.
The latest figures from the Land Registry show that during the final quarter of 2019, 15 flats in Hammersmith changed hands for under £350,000, including a number under the £300,000 stamp duty threshold for first time buyers.
As in the previous quarter, these properties were mainly studios or one bedroom flats in well known blocks including Hamlet Gardens, Latymer Court and The Grampians in Shepherd's Bush Road.
They also made up nearly half of the total of flat sales during the period, resulting in the overall average flat price dropping to £441,690 - a massive fall from £833,891 in the last three months of 2018.
The difference then was that between October and December 2018, 33 flats were sold at St George's town centre development Sovereign Court, priced from £900,000 to over £5 million.
In the same three months in 2019, it was a very different picture, with just four new flats within the development changing hands, this time priced from £283,220 to £1,239,960.
While there was a drop in the number of sales of terraced houses, prices over the three months rose by 5.9%, with demand strongest in the W6 0 postcode area, including Brackenbury and the streets around Ravenscourt Park.
As in the previous three months, the top price achieved between October and December was a five bedroom house overlooking Brook Green, sold for £2,675,000.
Brook Green pic: Google maps
Overall, the Hammersmith market remained subdued, with the Land Registry figures showing falls in both prices and the number of sales.
However, in the final months of the decade, they did demonstrate the value of property in the long term, with the overall average cost of a home in Hammersmith rising up 89% over the last ten years.
And now agents are seeing sunny days ahead in the new decade. Melissa Ames of Portico's Hammersmith office says: "The sales market remains healthy, with many first-time buyers taking advantage of the low interest rates and looking to buy their first home. We’re seeing increased demand for one and two bedroom properties in the area.
" Hammersmith seems to change daily with one new development popping up after the next. Although many were sad to see the Cinema close last year, the re-development works are now well under way. Once completed, the town hall extension will also have 196 residential dwellings, a new cinema as well as shops, restaurants and bars.
"With an active housing market for both the sales and rental sectors and continuing new developments, Hammersmith is as popular and vibrant as ever."
|Hammersmith Property Prices - (October - December 2019)|
|Sales||Overall Ave||Total Sales|
|Last three years||72.1%||500.0%||-9.2%||43.8%||-45.8%||-63.2%||0.1%||-41.3%|
|Last five years||-29.7%||50.0%||6.2%||-30.3%||-45.7%||-69.2%||-4.6%||-57.0%|
|Last ten years||-||-||68.7%||-17.9%||43.0%||-41.8%||89.9%||-26.5%|
For the country as a whole prices grew by 1.4% in 2019 to reach an average of £215,282 according to the Nationwide House Price Index. The figures from National Statistics show a 2.2% rise to November 2019 to an average of £235,298.
Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said, “January saw a further modest pick-up in annual UK house price growth to 1.9%, from 1.4% in December. This follows twelve 12 successive months in which annual price growth had been below 1%.
“Indicators of UK economic activity were fairly volatile for much of 2019, but the underlying pace of growth slowed through the year as a result of weaker global growth and an intensification of Brexit uncertainty.
“Recent data continue to paint a mixed picture. Economic growth appeared to grind to a halt as 2019 drew to a close, though business surveys point to a pickup at the start of the New Year. “
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) November 2019 UK Residential Market Survey reported that key measures of buyer demand point to sales remaining in negative territory, the uncertainty surrounding the 2019 General Election and Brexit being the likely cause of suppressed activity. However, there is an expectation that a more stable trend is likely to emerge over the coming three months.
The Bank of England’s Agents’ summary of business conditions – 2019 Q4 reported that the housing market remained subdued, mainly due to the October Brexit deadline and the General Election. Contacts reported that house prices were modestly down on a year ago in the south and modestly up elsewhere.
Robert Gardner added: "Looking ahead, economic developments will remain the key driver of housing market trends and house prices. Much will continue to depend on how quickly uncertainty about the UK’s future trading relationships lifts, as well as the outlook for global growth.
"Overall, we expect the economy to continue to expand at a modest pace in 2020, with house prices remaining broadly flat over the next 12 months."
February 7, 2020