Peter Rollings, CEO of Marsh & Parsons, comments: “UK house prices are still edging forward, albeit in the shadows of the advances we saw in the first half of the year. London has considerably outperformed all other regions during the last 12 months, but growth has slowed, and on a monthly basis only edged up slightly. In addition, prices are slipping in some of the most expensive areas of the capital, with values in Kensington and Chelsea falling 2.5% over the month to October, as growth tails off more sharply at the top end of the market.”

General election

All parties need to be wary of quashing the intrinsic momentum of the property market
“All parties need to be wary of quashing the intrinsic momentum of the property market”

“Activity levels at the top tiers of the UK housing market have shown healthy growth, with sales of properties worth over £1 million rising 15% in the year to August 2014. But fears of a potential ‘mansion tax’ could contaminate demand for prime property in the run-up to the general election.

Uncertainty surrounding this and the possibility of other populist wealth taxes is putting off all buyers, be they overseas or home grown, for whom Prime London property usually commands global appeal as a gold-standard asset.

“This could be a worrying development for London’s reputation as a business hub and natural outlet for investment, and could spell trouble beyond the capital if this lack of confidence at the highest rungs trickles down the housing ladder to the wider market. It is safe to say that ears will be pricked during Osborne’s Autumn Statement next week, and all parties need to be wary of quashing the intrinsic momentum of the property market.”

Headline figures from Land Registry’s October House Price Index (HPI):

  • Annual price increase of 7.7 per cent with the average price in England & Wales now £177,377 compared with a peak of £181,269 in November 2007.
  • Monthly house prices are up 0.1 per cent since September.
  • The region in England and Wales which experienced the greatest increase in its average property value over the last 12 months is London with a movement of 18.6 per cent.
  • The most up-to-date figures available show that during August 2014 the number of completed house sales in England & Wales increased by 4 per cent to 82,415 compared with 79,587 in August 2013.
  • The number of properties sold in England and Wales for over £1 million in August 2014 increased by 15 per cent to 1,363 from 1,185 in August 2013.
  • The borough with the highest annual price rise is Lambeth, with a movement of 27.9 per cent.
  • Hackney experienced the highest monthly increase, with a movement of 2.3 per cent.
  • Kensington and Chelsea saw the lowest annual growth of 9.5 per cent.
  • Kensington and Chelsea had the greatest monthly fall with a movement of -2.5 per cent.

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