property lettings market

Still top dog: London continues to be the market to beat despite sluggish price growth

The latest data from independent London estate agent, Benham and Reeves, takes a look to see if London really is on its knees, or if this has been exaggerated.

The firm looked at the month by month price change since June 2016 across the London market, as well as more than 20 other major UK cities. Working on a worst-case scenario, whereby Brexit inspired market uncertainty persists for the long-term, Benham and Reeves projected previous monthly market movements forward from today’s average house price to see at which point London would be overtaken as the UK’s most expensive city to buy a property.

The research shows that even with current market instability, it would take two years and 10 months before London saw the average house price slip below the closest competition – Oxford. London’s current average house price is £468,120 while in Oxford, property costs an average of £384,433. So it would take another 34 months before Oxford overtakes London with an average house price of £468,766 to London’s average of £465,753.

The next closest is Cambridge, although this wouldn’t happen until February 2023, with Edinburgh the next contender, overtaking London with an average house price of £457,465 by April 2027. Manchester and Bournemouth are also in contention overtaking London’s property market price by 2034.

The slowest would be Newcastle where growth since the vote wouldn’t see the city overtake London until after 2070. With the market in Aberdeen suffering greatly since the vote, it’s unlikely the city would ever overtake London despite market uncertainty hurting the capital.

Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves, commented: “London is and has always been the jewel in the crown of the UK property market and while these projections predict at what point in the future this might cease to be the case, the point is that it is very unlikely such an event will ever take place.

Yes, we’ve seen market uncertainty hurt the London house price growth to some extent while other regional cities have performed far better. However, what we are demonstrating here is that despite this, despite all that has been thrown at it, it would still take nearly three more years of current market conditions before London would slip from property pole position.

This really does highlight the resilience of the London market and the reality, in any case, is that a bounce back to previous health is a far surer bet than the likes of Oxford or Cambridge becoming the new pinnacle of UK homeownership.”

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