The number of people moving home in London has risen 165 per cent during the pandemic, a bigger leap than anywhere else in the country except the Southeast.
This activity pushed the average price paid for a house up five per cent, from £ 667,453 in the first six months of 2020 to £ 699,864 a year later, new data from Halifax reveals.
In the hectic race for the square after the first closure, exacerbated by the chancellor’s emergency stamp holiday, 24,970 people moved to a new home in the capital in the first half of the year, compared with 9,440 in the same six months the year before (although for six weeks the housing market was closed ).
The increase in the number of migrants increased sharply in all regions, but the sharp increase in London was twice as great as in Scotland. In the broader southeastern region alone, there was a more dramatic increase of 169 percent as 72,690 people bought a new home.
Where the Londoners are moving now
In a city where activity in the housing market is usually dominated by the sale of apartments, townhouses were the most popular type of housing purchased when young families moved from apartment to house to get more space and garden.
“There has been a huge departure in the marketplace as people have been eager to upgrade their housing situation with a property that offers more space or outdoor access,” says Guy Gittins, CEO of Chestertons.
“We also see movers leaving their property in central London in exchange for a home in one of the city’s suburbs, now replaced by international buyers returning to the market looking for a downtown lifestyle and a pied-a. – terre, ”he added.
The old cliché about buyers sticking to certain compass points – for example, being classified as a ‘North Londoner’ – has now disappeared, he continues. Buyers are now putting the property on the spot.
Islington is one of the current hotspots, according to Gittins. “It’s Notting Hill 15 years ago in terms of prices, has a buzz and excellent transport links,” he says.
Growth in house prices in London is lagging behind the UK
Across the UK, the number of migrants has more than doubled (132 per cent), as has the number of transactions in all regions except Scotland.
In the 12 months to June 2021, 461,010 transactions took place, an increase of 50 per cent, and the average price paid by homeowners across the UK rose 11 per cent to £ 387,485.
This price growth overshadows the price inflation of five percent in the capital, which still lags the rest of the country on this metric.
Knight Frank’s head of research Tom Bill is slowing down house price growth to stretched price levels in the capital compared to other parts of the country.
“Growth in house prices in London is doing worse in most parts of the UK for reasons leading up to the pandemic.
“The affordable price has been the key factor behind UK house prices in recent years, which has led to a more subdued market in the capital and stronger growth in areas of better value,” he says.
“Add a global pandemic to the mix, where a large number of people took part in a race for space, and this trend was highlighted,” adds Bill.