Fulham has London's 'Best Stock of Family Houses'

Brisk activity in premium-price homes in generally slow market

House on Bradbourne Street which went for £4,441,000. Picture: Right Move

December 11, 2023

The latest sales figures for residential property seem to show that higher interest rates are exerting a squeeze on sales levels in the Fulham area.

Although not all transactions will have yet been reported, it looks as though turnover in homes in the SW6 postcode was down by about a third in the third quarter of this year compared with 2022.

The average price of a home sold in the area from July to September was £1,227,781 down 10.6% over the year. This brings down the overall increase in Fulham property prices to just over a quarter in the last decade.

However, recent month have seen brisk activity for local estate agents in large family homes with eleven houses changing hands for over £3 million. Two of these went for £4 million plus, a six-bedroom terraced house in Bradbourne Street which went for £4,441,000 having last changed hands in April 2013 for £3,650,000, and a house on Musgrave Crecent which sold for £4,050,000. Sales exceeded the £3 million mark in Coniger Road, Chesilton Road, Chiddingstone Street, Basuto Road, Doneraile Street, Perrymead Street, Moore Park Road and two in Chipstead Street.

A local agent working for one of the larger chains said, “Although the sales market for flats is tough everywhere in London our letting side in this sector of the market is having its best ever year. There is an increasing disillusionment amongst renters with the new build market due to ever escalating service charges and poor build quality, so the virtues of Victorian mansion blocks and split terraces are increasingly being recognised.

“For larger properties, the liquidity in the Fulham area seems better than anywhere else in London partly due to a continued return of European professionals after Brexit steadily freeing up homes for sale. This means that SW6 now has the best stock of family houses in terms of availability with a good range of spacious terraced houses always listed. Our branch is performing better in this sector than any other in the capital.

“The location seems to have become even more attractive to professional people as, with more working from home, the slightly sub-optimal transport provision becomes less of an issue when comparing with better served areas.”

Fulham Property Prices (July - September 2023)
Area Deatached Sales Semi-det Sales Terraced Sales Flat/
Sales Overall ave Total sales
SW6 1 0 0 0 0 1950000 1 767706 16 837253 17
SW6 2 0 0 0 0 1345667 3 678445 21 761848 24
SW6 3 0 0 0 0 2500269 13 780099 8 1844966 21
SW6 4 0 0 0 0 2414444 9 762056 9 1588250 18
SW6 5 0 0 0 0 1750000 8 655000 5 1328846 13
SW6 6 2175000 1 3155000 1 1784077 13 662117 15 1281825 30
SW6 7 0 0 0 0 1287300 10 711950 10 999625 20
Total 2175000 1 3155000 1 1934851 57 713764 84 1227781 143
Change over quarter - - 32.8% -50.0% 0.8% -14.9% -3.7% -6.7% -2.4% -10.1%
Change over year - - -17.0% -88.9% -3.4% -47.2% -12.4% -47.8% -10.6% -48.6%
Change over three years 44.6% -80.0% 16.4% -23.0% -3.9% -16.0% 5.3% -20.6%
Change over five years - - - - 21.8% -20.8% -7.4% -41.3% 14.2% -35.3%
Change over ten years - - - - 23.4% -58.1% 13.8% -69.0% 26.7% -65.5%

Source: Land Registry

As of September 2023, the average house price in the UK is £291,385 falling by 0.1% compared to the previous year according to the Land Registry. For London, the average was down by 1.1% to £537,000.

The more current Nationwide House Price index showed that average prices across the country were up slightly compared with October but down by 2% over last year.

Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said, “UK house prices rose by 0.2% in November, after taking account of seasonal effects. This was the third successive monthly increase and resulted in an improvement in the annual rate of house price growth from -3.3% in October, to -2.0%. While this remains weak, it is the strongest outturn for nine months.

“There has been a significant change in market expectations for the future path of Bank Rate in recent months which, if sustained, could provide much needed support for housing market activity.

“In mid-August, investors had expected the Bank of England to raise rates to a peak of around 6% and lower them only modestly (to c.4%) over the next five years. By the end of November, this had shifted to a view that rates have now peaked (at 5.25%) and that they will be lowered to around 3.5% in the years ahead.

“These shifts are important as they have led to a decline in the longer-term interest rates (swap rates) that underpin fixed rate mortgage pricing, as shown below. If sustained, this will help to ease the affordability pressures that have been stifling housing market activity in recent quarters, where the number of mortgage approvals for house purchases has been running at c.30% below pre-pandemic levels.

“While mortgage rates are unlikely to return to the lows prevailing in the aftermath of the pandemic, modestly lower borrowing costs, together with solid rates of income growth and weak/negative house price growth, should help underpin a modest rise in activity in the quarters ahead.

“Nevertheless, a rapid rebound still appears unlikely. Cost-of-living pressures are easing, with the rate of inflation now running below the rate of average wage growth, but consumer confidence remains weak, and surveyors continue to report subdued levels of new buyer enquiries.”

Updates on the local property market are regularly published in the Fulham newsletter.

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