Home Counties see higher average price growth than London

Areas around London, known as the Home Counties, are continuing to outperform the UK’s capital city property market in terms of price growth, new research has found.

House prices in the Home Counties have increased on average by 1.69% in 2017 so far and by 5.71% annually, according to the research from hybrid estate agent eMoov.

The report points out that at slowing London market continues to lose momentum against the more affordable commuter zones surrounding it, with prices only increasing by 0.84% since the beginning of 2017 and 2.96% since the same time last year.

Prices across the capital average £481,345 today, making it continually harder for buyers to get on the ladder and more feasible to look to the commuter belt to invest in a home, fuelling higher price growth than the capital itself, the report explains.

It also suggests that improvements in transport infrastructure is helping to boost prices outside London by creating new commuter hubs. It suggests that means the traditional definition of the Home Counties has shifted and now many consider those slightly further afield, such as Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire and Hampshire to be part of the region.

Since the start of 2017, Bedfordshire has seen prices increase since January 2017 by 3.69% from £262,860 to £272,558, followed by Buckinghamshire with a rise of 2.87% and from £394,551 to £405,865 and Essex has seen growth of 2.54%.

The same three counties have seen the highest price growth in the past year. In Essex prices are up 9.89% annually from £275,625 to £302,881 and in Buckinghamshire property prices have increased by 6.98% year on year.

East Sussex has the lowest average house price across all the Home Counties at £264,276, followed by Kent at £279,529, Essex at £302,881 and Hampshire at £307,014.

The report points out that even when the cost of an annual train season ticket, which can be thousands of pounds, to commute into London is taken into account, home buyers are still saving hundreds of thousands of pounds by living outside of London.

‘With London’s prices still out of reach for the average person, the Home Counties offers a compromise to continue making a London wage but without paying the price of the capital’s property market,’ said eMoov chief executive Russell Quirk.

He believes that the rise in popularity of Bedfordshire, for example, demonstrates the continual overspill effect of the UK housing market as a whole. ‘In London, when one borough becomes too expensive, the next best but less desirable borough is the next port of call, until that too becomes regenerated and over inflated,’ he explained.

‘We’re seeing a similar process in the Home Counties generally whereby all are proving popular by London standards, but those that have seen stronger price growth already are now taking a back seat, whilst newer more affordable options, like Bedfordshire and Hampshire, emerge as the front runners,’ he pointed out.

He added that with the approaching launch of Crossrail, which is already pushing up prices along its route in London, and the proposed HS2 route, the commuter belt ripple effect is set to have an impact on more areas when it comes to demand for property and therefore prices.

Kindly shared by PropertyWire