In Focus

London house prices: average hits record high of £514,000

ONS data reveals the capital had the joint highest annual house price growth

Official figures for November 2020 show that the average price for a property in London has surpassed £500,000 for the first time. 

According to the monthly snapshot issued by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the break in stamp duty and pent-up demand from lockdowns has led to a “boom in sales” in the capital, The Guardian reports. 

Average house prices in the UK increased 7.6% over the year to November 2020, up from 5.9% in October 2020, the ONS said. Standing at a record high of £250,000, this is the highest annual growth rate the UK has seen since June 2016.

London remains the most expensive of any region in the UK with an average house price now at a “record high” of £514,000. There was also an increase in the average price of properties in England (£267,000; 7.6%), Wales (£180,000; 7.0%), Scotland (£166,000; 8.6%) and Northern Ireland (£143,000; 2.4%). 

London and Yorkshire and The Humber were the English regions with the joint highest annual house price growth, with average prices increasing by 9.7% in the year to November 2020. These were up from 4.6% (London) and 6.7% (Yorkshire and The Humber) in the year to October 2020.

In its report the ONS said: “London’s annual house price growth has followed a sharp upward trend seen in most regions in recent months, likely reflecting a range of factors including pent-up demand, changes in housing preferences and the temporary reduction in property transaction taxes, which are due to end on 31 March 2021.

“Looking at the picture within London, house prices have grown more quickly in inner London than outer London for some time. In November 2020, two London boroughs had annual house price growth above 20%, one is in inner London (Kensington and Chelsea, at 28.6%), while the outer London borough of Brent had annual price growth of 23.9%.

“Demand for property in inner London may be particularly responsive to temporary property tax changes as property prices are high and therefore so is the corresponding tax to be paid. 

“In addition, compared with other regions of the UK, London has a relatively high proportion of properties bought for investment, including from cash buyers and overseas investors.”

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