Photographer: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

London Asking Prices Picked Up in September as Lull Ended

  • Prices rose 1.9% from the previous month, Rightmove says
  • Average masks weakness in city’s luxury housing market

London house prices rebounded this month after four straight declines, reflecting a pickup in the market as the seasonal summer lull ended.

Asking prices in the U.K. capital rose 1.9 percent from August to 630,974 pounds ($825,000), real-estate website Rightmove said in a report published Monday. It added that the recovery this month was “exaggerated by seasonal volatility, with more owners of expensive properties coming to market after the end of the summer holidays.”

The monthly figures don’t paint a full picture of London’s housing market. Asking prices in the city’s most expensive district -- Kensington and Chelsea -- have fallen almost 12 percent in the past year, while there’s been an 11 percent increase in Barking and Dagenham -- the cheapest borough, Rightmove said.

Rightmove blamed the drop for the priciest homes on tax changes that have penalized buyers of such properties. Added to that is the uncertainty about the outlook for the economy after Britain voted to leave the European Union in June. The weakness tallies with data compiled by researcher Lonres and published by Bloomberg last week, which showed sellers of luxury homes are cutting asking prices.

“More expensive properties come on the market after the summer holiday recess so that does have a skew effect on average asking prices,” Rightmove director Miles Shipside, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “On The Move” with Guy Johnson. “If you actually look at inner London versus outer London year-on-year, inner London is still behind. Outer London though is performing more positively.”

For England and Wales, average prices increased 0.7 percent on the month in September and were up 4 percent compared with a year earlier, leaving the average value at 306,499 pounds. Rightmove said the market showed a “broadly positive picture overall as the market continues to shake off post-Brexit vote uncertainty.”

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