|Poor Weather Blamed for Hammersmith Property Sales Slump|
But sales continue to be strong for premium units in riverside developments
The property market in Hammersmith seems to be slowing to a crawl in 2018, with the number of sales plummeting during the first three months.
The Land Registry recorded just 49 properties changing hands between January and March, and while this figure may be boosted by some late entries, it is still over 50% down on the same period last year and the last three months of 2017, when 102 properties were sold.
Local estate agents concede that 2018 has had a soggy start, but are hoping for better things now that the sun has returned.
Finlay Brewer's Terese Brewer says, "The wet and snowy start to the year is becoming a distant memory and we can start to dream of warmer days, Bank Holidays and (of course) the property market bursting into life.
"Often after a period of harsh weather, we get a bit of pent-up demand which then gives an extra boost to the market. We’re not anticipating any fireworks but after a snowy winter and wet spring we do expect things to improve noticeably."
The market is also split between traditional houses and flats and new build riverside apartments, which are still bucking current trends with sales continuing to surge.
During the period, just one semi-detached home changed hands along with 11 terraced homes, with prices ranging from just £600,000 for a house in Argyle Place to £2,150,000 for a six bed home in Brackenbury Gardens, pictured below.
The average price of terraced houses remained relatively stable while the average price of flats and maisonettes was £709,307 - a drop of 28.6% on the previous quarter as fewer prime properties in the Fulham Reach area were sold.
This fall was mainly due to the market's split personality. As with the previous quarter, the price of flats in traditional properties appears to have levelled, with a number changing hands at under £400,000 and some below the stamp duty threshold of £300,000, indicating that first time buyers are returning.
However, on Hammersmith's riverside - it is a very different story. At Fulham Reach, three apartments in the development's Faulkner House changed hands with price tags of £1,284,950, £1,284,950 and £2,249,950.
At nearby Queen's Wharf, close to Hammersmith Bridge, the picture was even rosier with 12 apartments being sold.
One clue to the popularity of this development is that, despite its attractive position, it has offered some flats with relatively affordable price tags of under £600,000, which developer Mount Anvil says has attracted local buyers as well as overseas investors.
Today, there is a last chance to snap up a studio in the development for £599,000 or for those with larger wallets, there is a three bedroom, fifth floor penthouse pictured below, priced £2,700,000.
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."
Source: Land Registry
May 11, 2018