|SW6 Property Market Still Stuck in Slow Lane|
But agents say pressure on prices means Fulham now offers value for money
Activity in the Fulham property market remained in low gear during the last three months of 2017, with figures from the Land Registry showing just 99 homes changing hands.
Appropriately, at the end of a tumultuous year, the local market appears to show conflicting trends.
The very top of the market appears robust, with a number of properties selling for over £2,000,000, and one - a six bedroom house in Napier Avenue, close to the Hurlingham Club, picture below - selling for £3,200,000.
A number of other houses fetched over two million, including two neighbouring homes in Elthiron Road, between Eel Brook Common and Parsons Green.
With the small number of sales, these high prices were enough to boost the overall average price, up 3.6% to reach £1,243,442.
At this end of the market, this trend is continuing in 2018, with our property listing currently showing 29 properties with price tags above £3,000,000.
When it comes to flats however, the opposite seems to be happening. While a handful of high value apartments were sold at upmarket development Chelsea Creek, most sales were either in established blocks, including ex-local authority, or converted traditional properties with much lower prices, including ten sold for under £400,000.
Again, this trend is continuing in 2018, with 23 flats on our property listing available for £400,000 and five under the stamp duty threshold of £300,000. including a studio flat with balcony overlooking gardens on Wandsworth Bridge Road, available for £290,000.
KFH for example says it is finding buyers who were considering moving south of the river are now once again looking north. Damien Jefferies, Sales Manager at KFH Fulham says: "Prices in many parts of Fulham are now comparable to those in similar areas of Wandsworth, Battersea and Clapham. The usual trend was to see families looking to upsize by moving further out of central parts of London, but we’re now seeing the opposite."
Lawson Rutter meanwhile says on its regular E-Zine that while there was a slight fall in the number of first-time buyers in the market in the last year, this is now reversing in 2018. The agent says: " With last autumn’s budget virtually abolishing stamp duty for first-time buyers, I think we are very likely to see a significant up-tick and sales activity for that market.
" With about the same number of properties up for sale at any time, an upswing in demand from first-timers could see a knock-on effect throughout the marketplace."
According to the Nationwide House Price Index, property values in London as a whole fell for the first time in eight years during 2017 down by half a percent. This made it the weakest performing region of the country for the first time since 2004.
Across the UK the price of the average home rose by 2.6% to £211,156 with low mortgage rates and healthy employment growth supporting price. However, prices were held back by mounting pressure on household incomes and declining consumer confidence. Demand from buy to let investors was also held back by stamp duty and tax changes during the year.
The RICS, the professional body for surveyors, is predicting a further though slight reduction in sales this year and further price declines in the London area. They are not expecting these to be significant because of the lack of supply.
RICS UK Market Survey has recently shown buyer enquires stalling, sales volumes stagnating and sentiment turning altogether more cautious as a result in the final quarter of the year. They say stock on estate agents books close to all-time lows.
Tarrant Parsons, RICS Economist, commented, "Following a pretty lacklustre finish to 2017, the indications are that momentum across the housing market will be lacking as 2018 gets underway. With several of the forces currently weighing on activity set to persist over the near term, it’s difficult to envisage a material step-up in impetus during the next twelve months. However, the fundamentals are not much changed from the end of 2017, so levels of activity should soften only marginally when compared to the year just ending. A real lack of stock coming onto the market remains one of the biggest challenges, while affordability constraints are increasingly curbing demand in some parts. Given these dynamics, price growth may fade to produce a virtually flat outturn for 2018.
"That said, despite the recent interest rate hike, mortgage rates are set to remain very favourable, with the prospect of further rises seemingly minimal over the coming year. Alongside this, government schemes such as help to buy should continue to provide some support to sales activity."
Updates on the local property market are regularly published in the Fulham newsletter.
March 13, 2018