In Focus

London house prices: £491,687 average in April - a monthly fall of £10,072

Capital remains the most expensive UK region but also has the lowest price growth

London continues to be the most expensive part of the country in which to buy a house, with average prices at £491,687 in April 2021. This was, however, a fall of £10,072 compared to March’s £501,759 average, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).   

London was also the region with the lowest annual growth (3.3%) for the fifth consecutive month. Average prices increased by 3.3% over the year to April, down from 4% in March. 

The ONS data found that UK average house prices increased by 8.9% in the year to April 2021, down from 9.9% in March 2021. In England average prices rose to £268,000 (8.9%), in Wales to £185,000 (15.6%), in Scotland to £161,000 (6.3%) and in Northern Ireland to £149,000 (6%).

UK house price growth slowed in April for the first time since July 2020, the ONS said. In the second half of 2020, the UK’s average house price growth accelerated and the trend continued into the beginning of 2021.

The average UK house price was £251,000 in April - £20,000 higher than in April last year.

Super-prime properties 

London’s super-prime market - properties selling for £10m or more - saw transactions hit a pandemic high in the first quarter of 2021, although the market is yet to return to levels seen before Covid struck. 

Research by estate agent Benham and Reeves found that during the first quarter 23 super-prime transactions were completed. This was a 44% increase on both the previous quarter and the first quarter of 2020. It was also the highest quarterly number of super-prime transactions of any quarter since the start of the pandemic (Q1 2020) and well above the quarterly average of 17 transactions per quarter seen over the duration of 2020. 

While there are signs of a super-prime property market revival, the research by Benham and Reeves also found that there is some way to go to achieve a full return to pre-pandemic health. In 2019, an average of 29 super-prime properties sold per quarter, with 117 transactions completing throughout the year. Total transactions fell to just 68 in 2020 and with just 23 so far in 2021, it looks as though market activity could remain below the level seen in 2019. 

“The outlook for the super-prime London market remains fairly positive at present although demand continues to be dampened by travel restrictions preventing many super-wealthy foreign buyers from making the move,” said Marc von Grundherr, director of Benham and Reeves. 

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