The average price of a house in London has always been hugely out of whack with the rest of the country, but the latest stats coming out of the housing sector suggest that the rest of the country is now catching up.
While other cities are highly unlikely to ever match the £513,000 average price tag in the capital, the UK average has now hit £277,000 thanks to booming local economies in places like East Anglia, the East Midlands and the south-west.
Affordable homes stall in London
One of the reasons for this increase is a chronic lack of affordable housing across parts of the UK and London. A phrase that’s almost become the mantra of politicians and campaigners over the last few years, affordable housing now seems to be on everyone’s lips. London Mayor Boris Johnson recently outlined his intention to set fixed rates for affordable housing within the capital.
According to reports, the caricature like figure is considering a new proposal which will put into place a target of 25% affordable homes for London boroughs within the coming years. Although respectable, that figure is well below the 35% to 50% targets already set by said boroughs.
However, despite being lower than suggested by government targets, experts believe the target could be a helpful way to boost the construction of affordable homes. At present many new build sites have found themselves entangled in red tape thanks to viability assessments.
Johnson may have the answer
Sometimes taking years to process, these assessments often come back suggesting that particular sites are unviable for affordable housing and, therefore, can’t be built. This constant battle with viability measures is one of the main reasons construction rates for affordable homes have dropped.
Johnson’s new targets could help ease this burden though and give developers the green light to side step viability assessments and simply build as planned. Of course, even if Johnson’s plans are welcomed with open arms, that doesn’t mean an end to the housing problem in London. Although affordable homes are designed to be “affordable”, that term is relative and if people don’t have the cash to stump up for a deposit then it doesn’t matter what the costs are.
Ways and means for those with means
For existing homeowners looking to get out of the city trap there does seem to be an easier way. With people just as reluctant to buy as they are sell property in London, current owners can find themselves stuck in a catch 22 and unable to offload their house and move away from the capital. Fortunately, the recent rise in quick sale property companies has helped to break this circle of frustration and give people the chance to sell their house with ease and without fees.
Fortunately, property agencies are now in the business of managing financial difficulties through hassle free purchases. Using a simple process, these companies are able to purchase properties without any unnecessary fees, chains or delay; something which then allows owners to release their capital and become desirable buyers.
However, for those who don’t have a property they can sell quickly and break out of the London housing market, things are a lot tougher. The help to buy scheme set up by the government is working in certain parts of the country, but thanks to the average London house price it’s still a step too far for many. Not only that, but under the current terms the scheme is set to end in December 2016. David Cameron certainly has his work cut out during his latest term in office and housing isn’t an issue that’s going away.
A tricky race for all
Although the latest news on prices is likely to please current owners, especially those in London, the news for other isn’t as great. While there are ways and means to raise capital if you have the resources, the race to own a property almost anywhere in the UK is now looking more and more tricky.