London Is Becoming the U.K.’s Laggard in the Housing Market

  • Annual house-price inflation of 2.5% is second worst in U.K.
  • Asking prices in the capital more than twice national average

London property is dropping in the price-growth rankings and is at risk of becoming the U.K.’s worst-performing region.

Property website operator Rightmove said Monday that asking prices in the capital have risen 2.5 percent in the past year, the second-weakest performance out of the nine areas it surveys. Lagging behind national house-price inflation of 4.2 percent, only the northeast has fared worse, down 1.2 percent.

“London used to be the country’s jewel in the crown as far as increases in property prices were concerned and it will come back again,” said Miles Shipside, housing-market analyst.

For now, it’s paying the price of its earlier success, with the average price of 645,833 pounds ($787,000) -- more than double the national average -- forcing more buyers to look outside London for homes. That ripple effect means more regions are now outperforming the city.

On the month, asking prices in London rose 2.4 percent in October, and prices nationally increased 0.9 percent. The surge in London is due to the return to the market of owners of more expensive properties, according to Shipside. “Without that boost, London might well have been bottom of the price-rise pile,” he said.

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