The London homes longlisted for the 2014 RIBA Manser Medal, the most prestigious architects award, and London’s property prices by postcode. This is what you need to know about London’s property market right now

Longlist for RIBA Manser Medal announced

Four of the 23 homes longlisted for this year’s RIBA Manser Medal – the UK’s foremost private housing design award – are located in London. The winner will be announced in October.

Lens House by Alison Brooks Architects involved the extension of a Victorian villa in the Canonbury conservation area. Although virtually invisible from the street, from the garden the extension looks ‘otherworldly’, with the innovative use of Corian as an external cladding material and a complex geometry.

New development overlooking Luker House in Barnes, led Jamie Forbert Architects to a design that had a one-sided relationship to external spaces. A huge horizontal opening connects the kitchen and dining room to the garden.
Tree House by 6a Architects features an extension wrapping around a tree in the garden of a Grade II listed 1830s cottage in east London (E1). The occupant, who has become wheelchair bound, can now live independently in her home and continue to enjoy her garden as the single-storey extension makes all the public rooms and principal bedroom accessible.

In Hackney, Woodblock House by dRMM Architects is almost totally made of timber, including floors, walls and ceilings, making for a sustainable build. The brief was to create a studio, home and office for two artists and their family.

New research on postcode sectors from London Central Portfolio (LCP) ranks SW1(X) in Belgravia as the most expensive, while W1(D,F) in Soho has the highest long-term growth history.


The Best Investment Areas Heat Map shows all but one of the top postcodes are located in Westminster

In the first quarter of 2014, the average price reached £1,552,400.in London’s most exclusive boroughs, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster. Prices have risen on average 10.64% a year over the last two decades.

The SW1 X(7,8,9) area of Belgravia posted the highest average price of £4,405,741, followed by the SW7(1,2) postcode in Knightsbridge at £4,064,674, and the SW3 6 postcode in Chelsea at £3,448,195. The SW1V 3 area of Victoria had the lowest average of £593,600, almost 7.5 times lower than the most expensive postcodes.
Of course, highest price and growth do not always coincide – the priciest three postcodes come 2nd, 6th and 14th for long-term growth. Highest growth (14.17% a year) was in W1 (D,F) around Soho, whcih comes 18th in the average price ranking (£1,581,363). The strongest price growth tends to be east of Hyde Park; St James up to Mayfair, Marylebone and Fitzrovia.. These areas show average growth of 12.7% and represent seven of the top 10 performers.

‘Although every property needs to be scrutinised on its merits individually, Fitzrovia, Marylebone and Bayswater have been top of our ‘buy’ list for some time,’ concludes Naomi Heaton, CEO of LCP.

The great escape

More Londoners are buying homes outside the capital than at any time since 2007, according to research by Hamptons International. In the first quarter of 2014, 75% more Londoners bought homes in other parts of the country than compared with the same time last year. They bought 14,700 homes, each spending an average of £330,000, adding up to almost £5bn. This brings the number of homes bought by Londoners outside London over the last 12 months to a record 44,000, representing £15bn worth of property, both the highest volume and value since 2007.

The price gap between property values inside and outside the M25 is now more than £200k – its highest ever. ‘The flow of families out of London, a natural part of any city’s life cycle, has been supressed over the downturn,’ comments Johnny Morris, Head of Research at Hamptons International. ‘A combination of this pent up demand and the record difference in prices between London and the rest of the country is driving a surge in Londoners buying homes outside of the capital. ‘

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