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Capital's first-time buyers feeling the squeeze

First time buyers in London are being squeezed out of areas once seen as affordable,

In some neighbourhoods such as Croydon, Sidcup and Charlton, the price of one-bedroom flat increased by more than 21per cent in 2016.

Demand for more affordable first-time buyer property in the areas has pushed up prices. The main areas affected are in a ring on the outskirts of the city.

The average price of a one-bedroom flat is under £200,000 in 16 per cent of London postcodes. If current price growth trends continue, by 2019 the average price of one-bedroom flats in all postcodes will have shot past that threshold.

A critical supply-demand imbalance has compounded the affordability issues facing many aspiring homeowners in London.

More and more first-time buyers are turning to the outer boroughs ln search of better value housing. However, this new wave of demand is creating significant price growth in outer areas, well in excess of wage growth.

lf this trend continues, there will be no London postcodes left where a one-bed flat averages below £200,000. A significant increase in housing delivery of all tenures is needed to address this issue and ensure London can continue to thrive as a global capital.

According to Rightmove, smaller homes across the UK grew in value by 3.9 per cent in the year to March, compared with the average growth for all property which was 2.3 per cent.

This is due to a lack of supply of smaller homes, but a much higher level of demand.

Recent research revealed that there is a severe shortage of more affordable homes being built ln London, despite there being vastly more demand for them than more expensive properties that are flooding the market.

It calculated that 58 per cent of housing, demand is far homes costing less than £450 per sq ft, but this accounts for just 15 per cent of the five-year build forecast.

By contrast, properties worth more than £1,000 per sq ft make up 21.7 percent of the homes built, but just 6.4 per cent of the demand.

Did you know?

ln recent months, agents reported a rise in the number of landlords selling their buy-to-let (BTL) properties, with an average of four selling up per branch, compared to three in February. The last time it rose above three per branch was in November 2016, when the letting agent fees ban was announced.

Property Professional Magazine Issue 25 - November/December 2017

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