From local buyers trumping foreign buyers to the number of billionaires, seven surprising things that you may not have heard about the London property market
1 Nearly two-thirds of London homes ‘earn’ more than a nurse in a year (average salary £35,316), according to the National Housing Federation, while in over half of London boroughs house price increases were higher than a police officer’s salary (£45,653)and in nearly a third of boroughs they were higher than a London solicitor’s salary (£70,840). House prices in Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster shot up by £156,016 and £145,578 respectively, more than the Prime Minister David Cameron’s annual salary of £142,000.
2 In the light of this, it may come as a surprise to hear that prime London house prices have grown, in real (inflation adjusted) terms by an average of just 4.9% a year since 1979. Despite the stratospherical increases of recent years and fears of a housing price bubble, this is in stark contrast to the 1960s when many now affluent areas were little more than slums.
3 In Hyde Park, new properties with a park view benefit from a premium of 80% over those without one, according to research by Kay & Co, which also revealed that since the start of 2013, new-build properties with a view achieved £2,775psf while non new-build properties only achieved £1,864psf.
4 If you thought foreigners were buying up London, think again – 95.6% of sales from January to August 2014 were made by local buyers, according to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. ‘Local buyers made a welcome return this year,’ says Simon Corringham of Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward. ‘We’re finding that many local residents are keen to either upsize or downsize and there appears to be solid demand for unmodernised properties.’
5 If the rise in house prices seems crazy, the increase in school fees will make your eyes water. A study by stockbrokers Killik & Co found that average annual day fees have risen four-fold since 1990, from £2,985 to £12,700 in 2014, while boarding fees soared from £6,800 to £28,800. Wages rose by just 76% over the same period, while Greater London house prices increased by 119% (Halifax House Price Index).
6 64% of recently moved London homeowners have carried out or are planning to carry out building work in the next six months, according to the Royal Mail’s Home Movers Study, while 36% have or are planning to put in a new kitchen or bathroom.
7 72 billionaires, worth £110bn, cite London as their primary home, according to analysis by estate agency Wetherell, which also revealed that luxury new homes in Mayfair now achieve a record 107% price premium over existing adjacent homes.
Words by Karen Tait