Tuesday, 29 January 2019

London property report

Okay, okay. We've got a PR email about London property, from Naomi. 'Naomi, boss?' Yes, you know her, Voice. She always sends us one of those email Christmas card things. 'Oh, yeah. Well, she sends you one.' What do you mean? 'It's always Dear Michael, have a lovely Christmas ... something like that. Not Dear Michael and Voice. I might as well be invisible.' You are invisible, you little idiot!


Anyway, dear reader(s), let's have a look at this ...

The LCPAca Residential Index 2018 Report.

Uh, just the highlights, of course. I mean, life's too short, you dig?


2018 year end sees prices and sales plummet

Average annual prices in December (excluding new build) in PCL amounted to £1,844,031.
Monthly prices fell by 6.0%.
Prices in the final quarter fell by 10.2%.
Annual transactions in 2018 fell 16.4% to 3,514, the lowest recorded and down over 46% on 2014.
New build average prices now stand at £4,461,072 representing a premium of 74.3% over existing stock.
Quarterly new build transactions fall by 75.1% to just 57.

Wow! Big falls! 'Are all the rich people moving out, boss?' I suppose so, Voice. And no one wants to buy expensive houses no more. It's a crisis! 'Where are the rich going, then?' Christ knows!


2018 sees lowest prices since the GFC

Average prices in Greater London (excluding new build) ended the year at £619,888.
Prices in Quarter 4 fell 1.1%.
Annual prices in 2018 rose by just 1.3%.
Annual transactions in 2018 fell by 7.1% to just 86,869; the fourth consecutive annual fall.
New build transactions saw far greater falls of 19.1% over the year.
New build prices now stand at £698,485, a 20.8% premium over existing stock.

Well, okay. I, uh ... wonder Naomi makes of all this. 'Let's find out, boss!' Yes, okay. / Come on, Naomi!

Naomi Heaton, CEO of LCP, comments:

Prime Central London

Whilst prices have increased marginally over the year, this is not a cause for optimism. It is attributable to greater activity at the higher priced end of the market where the most significant discounts are available. This skews average prices upwards but even this "high-end" effect is tapering off as activity stalls.

There were just 3,514 recorded transactions in 2018, fewer than 68 sales a week. This represents a fall of 16.4% over the year and sales are now below the previous all-time low seen during the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). There were just 57 new build transactions in the last recorded quarter.

The political turmoil the UK is currently weathering is being acutely felt throughout the country, but nowhere more so than in PCL. With the Prime Minister's deal being voted down and no clear cross party consensus, it appears we are now even further away from a post-Brexit road map. This continues to dampen investor sentiment.

However, from a buyer's perspective this period of low competition and suppressed prices is an excellent opportunity. The fundamentals that underpin the desirability of PCL as a global destination have not changed.

Those who still believe in these fundamentals are able to acquire properties at material discounts, with the potential for significant uplift in the medium to long term.

Okay, okay. No endorsement from me, of course, but Naomi reckons there's going to be, uh ... 'Uplift, man.' Yes, uplift, for buyers. But I'm not sure I can see it myself. 'Oh, you're the expert, are you?' Listen, son, it's obvious what's happening here. 'What?' We're all going to hell in a handcart. 'Ha! Cheer up, Mikey!' Shut up, Voice!

Right. Greater London -

Greater London

Average prices for Greater London in December 2018 were £619,888, falling by 1.1% over the final quarter.

This is lower than the average price seen in June 2017 when the Prime Minister held a snap general election. At the time she declared that it was "the only way to guarantee certainty and security for the years ahead". With the benefit of hindsight, this has not been the case.

The average price for the last 12 months to December was £615,625, representing annual growth of just 1.3% for 2018, the lowest level since the GFC.

Transactions for 2018 amounted to 86,869, a drop of 7.1% over the year. Sales in the capital have now declined for four consecutive years amounting to a fall of 27%.

This decline coincided with the introduction of graduated SDLT and the Mortgage Market Review which had a disproportionately negative impact in Greater London, where average house prices are significantly higher than the UK as a whole.

More recent political and economic events have added more fuel to the fire and there are very few signs that this is likely to change. With Brexit looming, the property market is desperate for some positive news to restore confidence.

You see, Voice? 'What?' Naomi agrees with me. 'Maybe.' No, not maybe. Definitely. We're all going to hell in a handcart.


Anything else? All right, pop picker(s). This is my last ever music update. 'Ha!' I'm serious, man. I'm genuinely tired of writing about my struggles with music. 'But think about the rock historians, Mikey!' Tough!

Okay, okay. As I mentioned yesterday, I tried to record my new demo on Sunday. There was one positive thing and one negative thing to come out of it. Which do you want first? 'Are you asking me, boss?' Well, okay, Voice. Go on. 'Hit us with the negative first.' Right. Even though This World Don't Mean a Thing is a great song, it sounds like crap. 'Oh.' Because I still can't play it properly. 'Oh dear. / What about the positive?' Well, Sunday was the first time I've tried recording Malibu, and it sounds pretty awesome, even played rough. 'Yippee!' Yeah, it's one of those rare songs that sounds like a classic from the first few bars, and it builds the whole way through, and it doesn't disappoint. So ... maybe it's my best song. / If the worst comes to the worst, I might have to drop This World ... and replace it with Lucky You, which has already been recorded with Round the Bend.

All right. Later(s), crocodile(s)! 'In a while(s), alligator(s)!' Yeah, whatever.