Strongest UK August market since 2007: Pete Wargent

Strongest UK August market since 2007: Pete Wargent
Strongest UK August market since 2007: Pete Wargent


In the United Kingdom, Rightmove released it August 2015 House Price Index, which showed an average asking price for UK homes of £292,484 and for London homes of £606,826.
The result translated to the usual fall in August asking prices, with the index not being seasonally adjusted.
However, Rightmove reported that the August decline of -0.8% was the smallest decline for the month of August in the eight years since before the credit crunch in 2007.
Since 2007 the average August decline has been as great as -1.5%, with the decline having been more than 2% on three occasions in 2008, 2009 and 2014.
A major driver of the supply-demand imbalance was identified as a significant 8% year-on-year fall in the number of sellers, which has become something of a vicious circle for UK property markets. 
Transaction costs
According to data reported by Lloyds Bank only 151,000 many Britons moved house in the first half of 2015 compared to some 327,000 in the first half of 2009. 
Buyers reportedly have been concerned about the costs of moving as well as being unable to find somewhere which they want to buy.
Stamp duty in the UK is levied on transactions above £125,000 and therefore rising prices naturally leads to bracket creep and more buyers on the lower rungs of the ladder being captured in the taxable bracket.

The stamp duty on UK purchases above 
£575,000 is an absolutely ridiculous 10%. Properties bought for more than £1.5 million are whacked with an even more ridiculous top rate of 12%, though of course even this has not stopped the campaigning for ever more punitive taxes.
If you do somehow decide to stay in Britain, the inheritance tax takes care of most of the rest at 40% rate, another ingenious tax, death duties having accounted for the demolition of an estimated one sixth of Britain's country homes in the 20th century. 
Unsurprisingly the prevailing crazy rates of stamp duty act as a particular disincentive to relocate within the South East of England where most transactions (69%) fall in to the 5% bracket for sales greater than £250,000. In London the equivalent figure is even higher at 89%.
We have heard similar reasonings given by buyers and vendors in Australia, whereby stamp duties have acted as a disincentive for homeowners to move, and have in turn also led towards more investors adopting a trusty "long term buy and hold" mentality.

Asking prices
The Rightmove House Price Index data from May 2003 to August 2015 is charted below for the United Kingdom and for London.
UK average asking prices were up by +6.4% over the past year, while London prices were +9.7% higher.
Strongest UK August market since 2007: Pete Wargent
Given that the data is not seasonally adjusted, below is the same data for UK asking prices with a 12mMA trendline. 
Strongest UK August market since 2007: Pete Wargent
Below is the data charted for London where asking prices appear to have consolidated above £600,000 having come in above that threshold for the past three months.
Strongest UK August market since 2007: Pete Wargent
The strongest performing London Boroughs have included Greenwich where average asking prices have surged by 18% over the past year, spurred on the back of Crossrail activity. 

PETE WARGENT is the co-founder of AllenWargent property buyers (London, Sydney) and a best-selling author and blogger.

His latest book is Four Green Houses and a Red Hotel.


Pete Wargent

Pete Wargent

Pete Wargent is the co-founder of, offering affordable homebuying assistance to all Australians, and a best-selling author and blogger.

House Prices England

Community Discussion

Be the first one to comment on this article
What would you like to say about this project?