Pete Wargent blogspot

CEO AllenWargent Property Buyers, & WargentAdvisory (institutional). 6 x finance author.

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Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Rightmove sees more UK house price gains

UK housing market activity heating up

Rightmove's UK House Price Index, which isn't seasonally adjusted, showed a surprise +0.5 per cent (+£1,509) gain in January, the second strongest Christmas/New Year result since 2007.

Moreover the first snapshot for 2016 showed Rightmove visits up by 21 per cent year-on-year for the first working week of the year.

London asking prices at the top end have been crimped significantly by stamp duty changes and possible moves to tax foreign investment, particularly in luxury property. 

As such, London asking prices declined by -0.9 per cent in December, driven by a sharp fall in the prime borough of Kensington & Chelsea (-9.7 per cent to £2,055,666).

London price growth has shifted to the cheaper and outer boroughs (+11.3 per cent over the year), while inner London prices appear almost certain to stall (+4.3 per cent over the year following a sharp -2.1 per cent fall in December).

There is little question that stamp duty changes are pushing buyers to seek more value for their money, leading to a spike in activity in south-east London, for example. 

Capital growth has also now rippled outwards from  the capital, with the strongest annual growth now found in the East of England (+9.8 per cent), Greater London (+7.8 per cent), and the South East  of England (+7.3 per cent).

Rightmove's data points to an "active year ahead", but watch out for the distorting impacts of the stamp duty levy and changes to interest deductibility.


Following on from yesterday's blog post on Townsville jobs and property, the AFR reports that Townsville property prices could be hit hard by further job losses, with rents falling and house prices already down by 7 per cent over the past 5 years after recording further declines in 2015.

Townsville was also hit by the collapse of Storm Financial during the global financial crisis.