Anxious Times for Local Estate Agents

Stable prices little consolation as volumes collapse

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The local property market seems to have thus far confounded the more pessimistic observers with prices according to the latest official figures continuing to rise so far this year despite financial market turmoil and the credit crunch.

However, the news for local estate agents remains grim as, although prices may be holding up, volumes are not with the level of transactions down a massive 40.3% on the same period last year.

Some consolidation in the local estate agency market seems inevitable with several agents rumoured to be on the point of closing up. The Finanical Times reported recently on likely decline in the value of Foxton's business following a debt-laden takeover and the share prices of listed estate agencies have been seeing dramatic falls in prices recently.

The news for home owners is better with the average price of Hammersmith W6 properties having risen by 17% in the year to March 2008 and 10% from the beginning of the year. This is despite no high value detatched or semi-detatched being sold during the quarter.

The average price of property in the post code area over the first quarter of this year was £537,506. Prices in London as a whole were up by 10.5% with the average property costing £357,675. London is still seeing the highest levels of increase in the country.

House prices in England and Wales dropped by 0.4 per cent in March compared to February, taking the average price to £184,798. It is the second consecutive monthly fall for England and Wales since August 2005. Over the year prices were up by 3.6%

The numbers are subject to revision as usually some properties are added late to the Land Registry's database.

Hammersmith Property Prices - January - March 2008

Area Terraced Sales Flat/Mais Sales Total Averages Total Sales
W6 0 1185090 11 352152 22 629798 33
W6 7 787500 4 410979 13 499572 17
W6 8 572000 8 338421 7 462996 15
W6 9 706250 4 439600 20 484042 24
Total 873592 27 391145 62 537506 89
Last quarter 4.9% -25.0% 14.5% -39.2% 10.0% -36.9%
Last year 23.6% -44.9% 28.9% -34.7% 17.0% -40.3%
Last three years 80.6% -18.2% 61.6% 40.9% 55.5% 15.6%
Last five years 93.8% -47.1% 61.6% -23.5% 66.5% -32.6%


Source: Land Registry


March 18, 2008