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

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Thursday, 19 May 2016

Rush-to-let sees London house prices soar

Last hurrah?

Changes to stamp duty and tax legislation saw year-on-year buy-to-let mortgage lending explode 163 per cent higher over the year to March according to the Council of Mortgage Lending (CML), as landlords predictably rushed to beat the deadline.

According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) house prices in England spiked to an all-time high of £307,000. having increased by more than +10 per cent over the year to March 2016. 

On the other hand the index for Northern Ireland remains 42.3 per cent lower than its August 2007 peak. 



Annual house price increases in England were driven by yet another huge annual increase in London (+13.0 per cent), and the capital's immediately surrounding regions, being the South East (+12.2 per cent) and the East of England (+12.1 per cent) as price growth ripples outwards.

While regional growth away from the capital has been all but non-existent in the post-crisis world, London prices have soared 56.8 per cent higher than even their pre-downturn peak of January 2008.

The average house price in the capital now sits at a record £552,000, although the figures are likely to show a pullback in the premium sector of the market through April. 



The wider UK property market could also now slow following the rule changes for landlords and buyers of second homes, while prospective buyers may ponder the risk of a "Brexit" outcome. 

Despite improvements in the employment market figures, inflation and interest rates remain resolutely low, a pattern that is being repeated elsewhere with higher levels of household debt in evidence than in cycles past.

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Jobs figures due out later this morning!