Rising Properties in North Reduce the Divide Further

Think you can’t afford to live in London? Think again, as a slump in prices is bringing a new era of affordability to living in the capital.

People have been saying it for years – London prices couldn’t keep going up forever. Now, the bubble might not have burst, but it is showing every sign of leaking at the seams.

Over the past decade, the property market has remained buoyant while most other investment types have stagnated. This in spite of the global slow-down, Brexit, stamp duty and everything else that has been thrown at it. Economists expect it to remain strong, and predict UK growth of 14 percent over the next five years.

Over the past year, however, prices in London fell by an average of three percent while nationwide, they rose by two percent. Arsenal estate agents have commented that with the development and regeneration that continues to spread across north London, this could be the perfect time to buy.

Prices tumbling in parts of London

The topic was brought under the microscope when observers noted that property prices in some parts of London have come down dramatically over the past 12 months, particularly south of the river. Wandsworth, which includes the fashionable districts of Putney and Battersea, experienced a drop of 15 percent.

One Putney resident told The Guardian that the six-bedroom house in Putney that has been his family home for more than 30 years was valued at £1.5 million two years ago. Today, it is valued at £1.2 million.

While the north goes up

Compare that with areas like Blackburn, traditionally associated with cheap housing, and you will find that prices there rose by more than 16 percent in the same period. Manchester and Birmingham are also growing in popularity. They have become cities where people genuinely want to live and work, and have as much going for them as the capital. This is also playing a role in reducing the north/ south divide that we have known for so long.

Prices in Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh are predicted to rise by 30 percent between now and 2022. That will outperform the national average of 14 percent significantly. The estimation for London? A rise of six percent over the same period.

Now is the time to buy

The Putney resident with his old family home is not the only one left scratching his head. Waterside apartment blocks have sprung up along the south bank of the Thames and are now seeking residents, while new developments in thriving north London districts around Holloway, Dalston and Hoxton continue unabated.

For sellers, the wobble in prices might be cause for concern, but 2018 and 2019, with all its Brexit uncertainty, might be the perfect time to buy. For the first time in memory, northern buyers could look to London to pick up a property bargain, as opposed to it being the other way around. One thing is certain, this is not going to last forever – so if you want to get a piece of the London real estate action, the advice is to grab it while you can.