Nov 23

London house prices see worst drop in four years – despair, rejoice, hold tight?

Well, the half of you Londoners who rent your homes will probably be happy at today’s news.

The other half of you, maybe not so much.

London house prices have seen their most widespread fall in four years, according to research from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Its index of house prices across the UK saw London drop from -9 in September to -35 for October, the lowest reading since October 2010.

That compares with a reading of +20 for the UK as a whole, down from +30 in September, although RICs said the UK-wide slowdown is largely driven by the London drop. It also said the UK market will recover in the mid-term.

London was the only one of 12 regions in the report to see a decline in residential property values.

RICS said the proposed mansion tax is likely to be having a “deleterious impact” on high-end property in London, and the demand-supply imbalance in the London property market more generally “has largely gone into reverse”.

In October, RICS found that housing demand in London was down for the fifth quarter in a row.

In August, Hamptons International forecasted that London house prices would only grow by 3% in 2015, from an estimated 15.5% this year.